Tsoku Maela, known as nöbödï, was born in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo, South Africa. He later moved to Cape Town where he completed his BA in motion picture at AFDA, majoring in screenwriting. He began creating conceptual self-portraiture in 2014 after finding himself bedridden for over a week at Christian Barnard hospital.
Since then he has rose as one of the young artists to watch on the contemporary scene being inducted into CNN’s list of African voices and appearing on VICE’s Creators project and numerous publications including ART Times, Hyperallegic, City press, Marie-Claire, Afropunk, Afternoon Express and being selected as one of the filmmakers to showcase their film at Mercedes-Benz Bokeh fashion Film Festival in 2016.
His conceptual work deals with underlying issues that he feels don’t get enough scope in open spaces, ranging from the visceral, spiritual to the geo-political in hopes of driving meaningful conversations around the topics and bringing about a change in mindset and perspective. He has worked closely with 99 Loop gallery in Cape Town with whom he has had two solo shows so far. His work stretches beyond film and photography as Standard Bank recognized him as one of the Rising Star’s in South Africa with the ‘Rising star award’ in 2016 for his contribution in Media and Marketing.
Tsoku broke onto the international Art fair market for the first time in October 2016, where his series ‘Broken things’ was showcased at LagosPhoto festival, followed by Photo17 in Zurich, Cape Town Art Fair and Turbine Art Fair in 2017.
Some collections of his work are also represented by Christopher Moller gallery in Cape Town.