Experience the Northern Cape, South Africa

A lot of patience, an eye for detail, tremendous talent, practised skill and a love for what one does. That’s what it takes to create the pieces of art that Temba Masala (51) from Raaswater, a village between Upington and Kanoneiland in the Northern Cape, does.

Temba Masala with sculpture
Masala is at his happiest bringing unique pieces such as this one to life in the studio behind his house in Raaswater. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

Masala has been an artist since 1987. He first learnt to draw and paint before trying his hand at sculpture, and then discovered the medium he enjoys most: papier mâché. 

Most of his creations are colourful caricatures of animals – from hyenas, meerkats and chameleons to chickens and rabbits.

Masala, who spends most of his time in the small studio behind his house, loves it when people ask him to create something for them from scratch, seeing the artwork take shape. 

His wife Nombulelo (50) takes care of the detailed paintwork on some of the pieces.

His artwork is also sold at curio shops in the Upington area, at Die Pienk Padstal in Kakamas, and even as far as the Kim Sacks Gallery in Parkwood, Johannesburg, and the Heartworks arts and crafts store in Gardens, Cape Town.

Temba Masala-Pienk Padstal
Masala’s creations are for sale at Die Pienk Padstal (Afrikaans for “the pink farm stall”) In Kakamas. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)
Temba Masala at work
After three decades as an artist, Masala can create any creature you can think of out of papier mâché. (Image: Northern Cape Tourism Authority)

Next time you’re in the Upington area, give the Masalas a call on +27 (0)76 606 5232 (Temba) or +27 (0)73 853 4309 (Nombulelo) and pop in and have a look at his works of art.