Thandeka Shabalala was born 16 September 1987 in the Drakensberg area.
She attended Mountain View Primary School and Sizathina High School.
Her mother, Mavis Shabalala (cousin of Bonnie Nthshalintshali and sister of Punch Shabalala), was one of the first ladies to join Fée in the early 1990s.
Thandeka says that she loved watching her mother paint and that it was her dream to join Ardmore.
In 2010, Thandeka starting working as a housekeeper on a neighbouring farm to Ardmore's Caversham studio. She visited her aunt Punch, who on weekends taught her how to paint. Thandeka starting painting at Ardmore in 2014.
Thandeka sits next to her aunt and has the same flair for intricate patterning, which is closely linked to Zulu traditional beadwork and basketing. Fee is delighted that this traditional design and colour lives on in the younger generation.
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