Born in the Black township community of Payneville (a satellite mining town east of Johannesburg, South Africa), Sam Nhlengethwa (1955 - ) grew up in Ratanda location in nearby Heidelberg. In the 1980s, he moved to Johannesburg, where he honed his practice at the renowned Johannesburg Art Foundation under its founder Bill Ainslee. He is one of the founders of the legendary Bag Factory artist studios in Newtown, a leading arts organization that welcomes artists from all backgrounds and nationalities to collaborate and learn. Nhlengethwa is one of South Africa’s foremost artists and was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year in 1994 – the year South Africa held its first democratic elections. He has exhibited all over the world – from South Africa to Senegal, New York to Cologne. His work is largely figurative and explores themes close to his heart like jazz, human interactions, and contemporary Africa. His fine sense of colour and form lend an abstract quality to his work, which has been included in many contemporary South African art publications and can be found in leading South African and international collections.