Ramarutha Makoba


Ramarutha Makoba was born in Soweto in 1984 and brought up in Diepkloof. His talent surfaced from an early age when he began drawing his favorites cartoon characters. Much of his earlier works portrayed people and children in their normal surroundings. Ramarutha’s artworks are often large and expressive.

Recently trees have become a reoccurring theme. Ramarutha further explores themes of community and family relationships in his recognizable charcoal, pastel and acrylic drawings. In these drawings the grit of daily life is interspersed with brightly coloured trees and portraits of people from his community.

Makoba quotes Tyler Perry: “I have this tree analogy when I think of people in my life. It goes like this: Some people come into your life and they are like leaves on a tree. They are only there for a season. You can’t be angry at them, it’s just who they are. There are some people who come into your life and they are like branches on a tree… In most cases they can’t handle too much weight. But again, you can’t be mad with them, it’s just who they are. If you can find some people in your life who are like the roots of a tree then you have found something special…Their job is to hold you up, come what may, and to nourish you, feed you and water you.”

When out of the studio, Ramarutha dedicates much of his time giving back to his community. He sees his role as an educator and empowering the children he works with in helping them to see a future beyond their current situation. Lifting their blindfolds and opening their minds and eyes to what is possible.

Representing the family unit as a tree……Ramarutha says that if you nurture these children and their families, their roots will take hold and give them a future worth working towards.

Apart from painting and drawing, Ramarutha has also experimented with the art of screen-printing and etching.  He has attended workshops at The Johannesburg Art Gallery and completed a two year course at Fuba (Federated Union of Black Artists).

Marketing & PR Karen Kreutner