Naphtal Mbongeni Mhlongo was born and bred in Durban, and now lives and works in Johannesburg. He started practising art at an informal art school where he first learned how to paint. He enrolled for a full course in art and design shortly after. His subject matter is diverse, ranging from people to buildings. His body of work depicts recognisable shapes blended with abstract elements. Most of these are complex compositions with distinct elements of colour. He believes in the existence of the unknown and the unseen. Which is the reason why he works from abstract (unknown) to realism (recognizable. He starts his painting with elements and shapes from his imagination and develops them into recognizable objects. Through that process, he manages to keep his work purely original with minimal references, if any, which he usually uses for the final finishing touches.