Ramarutha Makoba was born in Soweto in 1984 where he grew up in Diepkloof Zone 3 and 4. From an early age he loved watching cartoons and used to draw his favourite characters. His father was a good artist but treated art as a hobby. It was his grandmother who was the first person to encourage Ramarutha to take his art seriously.

When Ramarutha was 13, he attended art classes at a local community centre where Chris Molefe had a profound influence on his work. He later attended workshops at the Johannesburg Art Gallery and completed a two-year course at FUBA (Federated Union of Black Artists). He has also completed a three-year professional printmaking programme, and received certificates of excellence for his work.

He is now Head Teacher at the Little Artist School, a Johannesburg-based project that creates an opportunity for disadvantaged youth to attend art classes and to learn a skill.

He continues to produce unique works that combine print processes, painting and charcoal.

“Scratching into the plate allows me to create an image that reflects a time and place that is close to me,” says Ramarutha. “My work deals with social ignorance and the hardship of people with few resources. The works express a personal story of my relationship with my community.”