The Center for African Studies Launches the Artist-in-Residence Program

April 11, 2022

As part of the Harvard Center for African Studies' African Arts Initiative, Leverett House has partnered with the Center for African Studies to bring the inaugural cohort of the Artist-in-Residence Program. For the two next weeks, visual artist Nelson Makamo and musician Mandisi Dyantyis, both from South Africa, will offer interactive workshops together at Leverett House that will culminate in an exhibition of student art and a concert with student musicians. Coming from apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa, both artists use story-telling in an optimistic search for new horizons.

Mandisi Dyantyis Photo
Mandisi Dyantyis at the Center for African Studies


Nelson Makamo Photo
Nelson Makamo at the Center for African Studies


Drawing on an ongoing collaboration where Dyantyis composes music inspired by Makamo’s art, the two will involve students in this creative process. Makamo will engage students in a fine art printing workshop while Dyantyis will compose jazz music to be performed with students. These will be joint workshops in both music and art creation at the same time, each artist reacting to the other, exchanging ideas with students in an unprecedented opportunity to participate in a creative nexus.


At the end of their residency, Nelson Makamo will do a public exhibition at the Center for African Studies, and Mandisi Dyantyis will have a public concert at the Tsai Auditorium at CGIS - details forthcoming.


Mandisi Dyantyis is a vocalist, trumpeteer and musical director known for his versatility in Jazz, Western Classical and African indigenous music, as well as his ability as a raconteur. Now based in Cape Town, Dyantyis was born and raised in Port Elizabeth, where he began learning to play the trumpet at the age of 8. He studied classical music throughout his schooling career and emerged from the University of Cape Town with a BMus Honors Degree in Jazz Studies in 2005 where he played in the UCT Big Band for most of his studies.  He has played with some of the country’s top musicians over the years. These include Jimmy Dludlu, The Abdullah Ibrahim Big Band, Robbie Jansen, Max Vidima, Moreira Chonguica just to name a few. He has produced, played and co-written on Nomfundo Xaluva’s multi-award winning albums KUSILE and From.Now.On
More about Mandisi Dyantyis:


Nelson Makamo is a renowned Johannesburg-based artist who is among those committed to an African renaissance and is best known for his charcoal and oil paintings. His career spans 16 years since completing training at artist schools in South Africa. His work primarily seeks to change the global mindset of what it means to be an African child and an African at large. Makamo has an interest in the concept of a Pan African connection and in forming innovative partnerships with institutions as well as artists in other disciplines.
More about Nelson Makamo: