ujamaa arts gallery

New Art Space

We're a new contemporary art space in Johannesburg, representing a range of artists from emerging to established artists

we embrace the idea of

Cultural Equity

We support the promotion of cultural equity, while expanding opportunities for artists at all points in their careers

have look at

Our works

We bring art to a massive audience and celebrate artists who deserve a voice and a platform in the arts landscape



As a Johannesburg based creative arts practitioner Thuli Mlambo-James came to a realisation that challenges could be efficiently overcome by working in tandem with other creatives, thus she established Ujamaa Arts back in 2018.

With over ten years of Project Management experience, she has worked as an Events Producer for VWV Group SA, Bluemoon Events & Communications and as an Events Manager for organisations such as the South African High Commission in London, furthermore she has worked as an International Media Administrator for MTV UK including Media24 Magazines UK. Upon her return to South Africa, she ventured into the TV & Film Industry working in production for Endemol TV and was a Production Manager for Encounters Documentary Film Festival in Cape Town.

Between 2017 to 2018 she served as a Director of the Bag Factory Artist’sStudios in Johannesburg, upon leaving the Bag Factory, she pursued an MA in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths University, London. However, due to financial constraints, she had to defer, and that’s when all her attention was focused on founding Ujamaa Arts.



A brief history about us

We’re a new contemporary art space in Johannesburg, representing a range of artists from emerging to established artists, from Africa and its Diaspora. Showcasing contemporary art to Africa and the world is one of our main attributes.

Who We Are?

Ujamaa Arts was established in 2018, however with the advent of Covid-19, when most artists found themselves without or losing representation from their galleries who were closing down, we had to re-strategise and decided to join the narrative of global discourse in the arts, which were happening virtually. We, therefore, utilized the online platforms as we didn’t need to contend with issues of brick-and-mortar, but learn to get to grips with the new virtual realities.

We specialise in carefully sourcing, chosen original artworks of quality,  from artists within the African continent, its diaspora and the world.  With our discerning eye for good art, we actively seek out exceptional original artworks.

Our Skills

Curating 80
Development 70
Opportunities 75

Vision & Mission

We are committed to growing opportunities for artists and creatives alike, so they can continue creating distinctive work while also reaching a diverse audience both locally and globally.

Cultural equity

To support the promotion of cultural equity, while expanding opportunities for artists at all points in their careers.

Social Change

Act as a catalyst for social change, while connecting, bringing together diverse creative talents to experiment, network & collaborate.

massive audience

To bring art to a massive audience and celebrate artists who deserve a voice and a platform in the arts landscape.


Have a look at a list of Artists we represent



Onyis Martin was born in Kisumu, Kenya in 1987 and moved to Nairobi when he was six. Growing up, aside from school he kept himself out of trouble playing football and practising art. He rejected his father’s wish for him to go to university, but instead, he launched himself into fine art, which he initially developed through apprenticeships at the Godown Arts Centre and Kuona Trust in Nairobi.

He is now based at Kobo Trust, where he mentors other artists and facilitates workshops for artists who want to develop & hone their talent.

Experimenting with a wide range of materials, Onyis explores the human condition and the global geopolitical interface, specifically through issues surrounding human trafficking, migration, corruption, and displacement. He additionally explores matters surrounding communication, the rapidly changing technological environment and the consumerism that surrounds it.

Referencing from his personal experience as a point of departure, he interweaves individual and collective experiences highlighting the varying, yet similar experiences people have in different places globally. In his most recent group of works, Talking Walls (2016), Martin extended his exploration of how information depends on and is influenced by freedom and social structure towards investigating the rise of consumerism.


She’s a contemporary visual artist, from the Dominica West Indies, currently living and working in both Vienna and Dominica. She completed her studies in Fine Art at University for Applied and Contemporary Arts in Vienna, Austria, where she obtained an MFA in Painting, Graphics and Trick Film Animation.

Marcelle’s body of work engages painting, sculpture, and video, reflecting the thematic subject of human encounters, her work also describes the basis of a repopulated space and its displaced attributes, the nomadic properties of living and giving mobility, making each image an island surrounded by diverse environmental capabilities.

Marcelle touches on themes of capitalistic modes of production, transportation of goods and people, and sustainability of environmental values and labels.

She adapts digital collages to painterly parameters, transforming them into pictorial form, continually entering into relations, composing, and recomposing relations.

Pauline’s artworks have been presented at various exhibitions and are sitting at various collections including:

  1. The World Bank Art Collection Washington DC, USA
  2. MONA Museum of New Art Detroit the USA
  3. The Essl Collection of Contemporary Art Austria Ministry of Culture, City of Vienna
  4. Exhibitions: (2021) CHRONICLES: Wolkersdorf Castle Wolkersdorf/Austria,(2021) UNTITLED, ART OVR: WHO I AM Gallery Miami (2021) COSMOSCOW: International Artfair Moscow, Russia (2019) ART AUCTION FOR CHILDREN: Albertina Museum Vienna/Austria INSIDE OUT – OUTSIDE ME: DAL Foundation Vienna/Austria (2018) AUCTION ART FOR CHILDREN: Lisa Kandlhofer Gallery Vienna/Austria, (2017) Art Olympia Award Tokyo Japan, (2016) DAKAR BIENNALE: Austrian Pavilion Dakar/Senegal, (2010) Bag Factory Residency Johannesburg South Africa,

Phumlani Ntuli was born in 1986, in Soweto Johannesburg, obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in 2012 from the University of Johannesburg, where he majored in sculpture.

He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Arts Public Sphere from (ECAV) Ecole Cantonale D’Art du Valais in Sierre- Switzerland. Phumlani was awarded a Prix-excellence for his ongoing research project Permutations of an event centred around notions of archives and surveillance.

His work merges the ambit of artistic research, sculpture, video installations and performative practices. He consistently engages diverse publics and audiences and attempts to make visible the gaps, breaks, silences, pauses and remnants in history.

His work figures around fictional geographies, simulation, archive, and representation.

He explores these concerns through a collision between documentary and fiction using collages, performance, and video installation. His work addresses and questions the format of lens-based media in telling historical events and situations within geopolitical imaginaries.

As an artist and practitioner Phumlani has presented and or contributed work within the context of the Spier Light Art Festival 2021, Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival 2020, Young Congo Biennale 2019, Live Works V6 curated by Simone Frangi and Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Kampala Biennale 2016, in Uganda curated by Elise Atangana, the Bone Performance Festival 2016, Bern Switzerland, curated by Valerian Maly and performed in the Act Festival 2016 in Geneva, Basel, Sierre and Zurich.

During the aforementioned year, Ntuli participated in residencies/workshops at the Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella Italy and the Alps Art Academy in Chur Switzerland. This was his third solo exhibition, after two solo performance projects at Alps Art Academy in Chur Switzerland in 2016 – 2017, Umjondolo at Goethe- Institut Johannesburg, Thupelo in Cape town and Infecting the city in Johannesburg 2012 – 2014.



She’s a South African born contemporary multidisciplinary visual artist and curator currently residing and working in Johannesburg.De Vos received her BA Technologies degree from the Tshwane University of Technology where she majored in glass blowing, sculpture and figure drawing.

In her practice she investigates the physical human form and basic human experience, her artworks serve as a call for closeness, through her well-executed mixed media drawings.

She aims to depict the human body in its most fundamental form central to the human experience, calling for an emergence of a new lens of viewing and relating to one another.

In her practice, she observes how preconceived notions of identity, cultural and traditional values, set morals and racial, gendered and societal ideologies tend to govern how we relate to one another. She achieves further contrast through her use of mediums as she juxtapositions soft and hard mediums in one artwork, where the softness of charcoal is contrasted with the hardness of nails and staples, creating a dynamic and multidimensional visual experience. De Vos’s body of work centres around the emotional, psychological and social wellbeing of individuals advocating for new positive ways of relating to one another.

Our Works

Have a look at the artists we represent and their works

Visual Portfolio, Posts & Image Gallery for WordPress

Art Fairs

See below a list of Art fairs we've participated in


Ujamaa Arts showcased and presented for the first time at the Prizm Artfair – Miami 2020, presenting the work of Manyaku Mashilo, who’s a contemporary South African artist based in Cape Town.


November 30th– 19th December

Ujamaa Arts is pleased once again to be participating at Prizm Artfair- Miami 2021, with a presentation of contemporary artworks, by these artists:

  1. Olwethu DeVos (South Africa)
  2. Onyis Martin (Kenya)
  3. Pauline Marcelle (Austria & Dominica)
  4. Phumlani Ntuli (South Africa)
  5. Senzeni Marasela (South Africa)

A selection of these works will also appear on Prizm Artfair’s viewing room https://www.prizm.art/

To receive a pdf with detailed information on the works by these artists, please contact Ujamaa Arts at: thuli@ujamaaarts.co.za

Contact us

For more information please feel free to contact us

    Call us:

    +27 76 380 5427




    Johanneburg, South Africa