Zanele's work focuses on the anxieties of migrating to the city, especially as someone who has grown up in Kwa Zulu Natal. She explores aspects of adapting to a new space and nurturing a home away from home. Her subject matter is derived from old photographs of her family, particularly her mother and siblings. She relies on the use of bright backgrounds to make the figures in her work more prominent. Each title of her work is in Zulu, as a way of keeping in touch with her Zulu upbringing, as well as evoking a feeling of nostalgia and community. She has studied at the University of Johannesburg and graduated for her National Diploma in Visual Art. She was a finalist in the Thami Mnyele Fine Art Competition in 2015, and has continued working in the art industry as a gallery manager at Hazard gallery. With a postgraduate qualification in art education she currently works as an arts educator and painter. In 2021, she was the recipient of the inaugural META foundation Womxn to Watch Award.
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