Trevor Makhoba was born in 1956, at Makhumbane, Durban. An exceptionally gifted boy, coming from a mingled contemporary background of rural and peri-urban Zulu culture. Makhoba seemed to have inherited his artistic talents from his Mother who was a school teacher who also drew and painted. He was educated at several schools in Umlazi, where his family moved in 1964. He left school at the age of seventeen to follow a variety of jobs, he was a prison warder, insurance representative and working for companies like Dunlop tyre a rubber company and I&J Fisheries.
Trevor Makhoba also developed his calling as a musician, playing the saxophone. He made a decision to focus full-time on his art and began to paint in 1989. He was a self-taught artist and tried to sell his work on the Durban beachfront. He struggled to make a living until 1990 when he was advised by a friend to show his work to the African Art Centre, then in Guildford Arcade in Durban. This was a major turning point, and he was immediately noticed by museums and collectors. Standard Bank awarded him for Young Artist’s Award for Visual Art in 1996.
Trevor Makhoba was an emerging contemporary artist whose “Vision focused on the life of people-especially the African people of KwaZula-Natal.” His narrative paintings were a vehicle through which he communicated his personal perception of hardship, and the drama of everyday life in that time of great social upheaval in South Africa. He worked with amazing energy.
Trevor Makhoba, one of South Africa’s foremost artists, passed away in 2003.