George Pemba

George Pemba whose full names are George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba, was a South African painter and writer born in 1912 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. At the age of 16, Pemba got his first break when his first work exhibited at the Feather Market Hall in Port Elizabeth. Six years later, he was treated for a burst appendix and he spent his hospital stay drawing pictures of nurses and doctors. His hospital drawings caught the attention of landscape painter Ethel Smythe who took an interest in Pemba and offered him tutelage. Ethel Smythe possessed a large collection of books that introduced him to the work of Dutch Golden age artist Rembrandt van Rijn, Spanish artist Diego Velázquez and the art of impressionism.

George Pemba, was also a writer, who wrote and staged at least two plays namely,The Story of Nongqawuse and The Xhosa Prophet Ntsikana. He was later produced painting to illustrate the plays. South African heritage Project. George Pemba died in 2001 and he was posthumously awarded the Order of Ikhamanga.

Selected Exhibitions
1928: Group exhibition, Feathermarket Hall, Port Elizabeth.
1945: Annual Exhibition, Eastern Province Society of Arts and Crafts, Port Elizabeth.
1988: The Neglected Tradition, Johannesburg Art Gallery.
1991: Solo exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg.
1992: Solo exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg.
1993: Watercolour exhibition, Highbury Gallery, Port Elizabeth.
1996: George Pemba Retrospective Exhibition, Iziko SA National Gallery, Cape Town, Johannesburg Art Gallery; Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth.

Cory Library for Historical Research, Rhodes University, Grahamstown;
De Beers Centenary Art Gallery, University of Fort Hare;
Iziko SA National Gallery, Cape Town;
Sanlam Art Gallery, Bellville;
Johannesburg Art Gallery;
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Port Elizabeth;
Killie Campbell Collections, University of Natal, Durban;
Tatham Art Gallery, Pietermaritzburg; The World Bank Collection, Washington, DC.

1924: Grey Scholarship to Paterson Secondary School, Port Elizabeth.
1937: First prize at May Esther Bedford Art Competition, Fort Hare.
1979: Honorary Master of Arts, University of Fort Hare.
1998: Honorary Doctorate, University of Port Elizabeth.

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