Bafana Zembe was born in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. Currently, Zembe is the SAFIM Assistant Curator of Photography at the Roger Ballen Foundation Centre for Photography at Zeitz MOCAA (Cape Town, South Africa). Bafana Zembe’s position at Zeitz MOCAA is supported by South African Friends of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (SAFIM).
Bafana Zembe is an artist, exhibition installer and heritage educator. His art practice, as well as photography projects, focus on issues of heritage, identity, education and skills transferral. Zembe’s past work includes coordinating the 2010 Gauteng province heritage and tourism’s Youth Against Unemployment Career Guidance Week and being contracted for various heritage and arts research programmes at Chris Hani Museum and Heritage Centre. His recent curation projects include Woza Sisi, a photographic exhibition, and ICON, a portrait painting exhibition, both held at the DOPEstore Johannesburg.
Since 2011, Zembe has been significantly involved in installing photography and other media exhibitions at the Market Photo Workshop – a space that develops aspiring and young photographers’ approach and interest in photography – and for projects that include Social Landscape and the Joburg Photo Umbrella. He is part of the visual artist named Kollective 104, which seeks to produce monthly visual arts events and programmes in and around Johannesburg. Zembe is founding Director of Nazo Arts and Projects, a company that makes its core business exhibition coordinating skills development training projects in photography, printmaking, murals, research and consultation.