We love a good debate on This Is Africa. Because many of you felt so strongly about the piece on “What is the point of art?”, we figured we’d curate some of the comments with an emphasis on the heated discussion around whether Jacob Zuma’s troubled presidency deserves the “naked” treatment.


“Corrupt of not, paint Zuma with his clothes on”


Londile Sibanda

Okay say whatever you want but stop painting pornographic images in the name of art. I think Ayanda Mabulu is a sick person. Isn’t there a better way to express yourself. Honestly this nonsense defiled us as African people. Our culture does not even agree with this. Yes you may hate Zuma for all we care but this? Really?  So now you should be allowed to feed our children porn and that shouldn’t matter because you want to express yourself?

Francis Boima

I think this is really not art but ‘porn’, and a very, very disgraceful ‘porn’ in itself with no basis for criticising and or enhancing enlightened minds. I think this kind of works of art should never be treated with respect and dignity because it lacks it all. One last thing, I’ve decided not to even mention the personality it seeks to criticise because the medium is simply not up to the measure.

Sakhile Lilly Nair  

No matter how our elders wrong us in African culture we respect them and don’t do such things. Even if it is art, this is disrespectful and shameful to our culture. Shame on him! Shame.

Kangwa George Chisanga

I am disturbed beyond measure. Artists should never take leave of their brains and decency. That Zuma has disappointed South Africans does not give anyone permission to be this abusive to the man. Africans must strive to remain a decent lot under all circumstances

Siphamandla Gcabashe

This guy is wasting his talent using his art based on theories he collects. Why is he only depicting Zuma? The Guptas have been around before Zuma was in presidency. Why not Mbeki or Mandela? This work has no content. Why is he not painting the history of Apartheid to educate South Africans about history? And who proved that Zuma is corrupt? Mabulu is not presenting any solution with this but showing how people can claim to be better than others. The worst part Mabulu has found a business opportunity in this and then he says Zuma is corrupt!

Derick Mlandeli Ncube  

If these are South African rights, the artist is abusing them. I don’t think if Zuma was your own father you were going to like it. He might be a corrupt president, as they say, but he deserves respect.

Gorata Tlhako

Ayanda Mabulu I don’t know if your parents are still alive, and if they are, did they see this so called your art? Feeling sorry for your parents. What a shame 

Tackett Kafwanka

This is not art but a total abuse of democracy and freedom of speech.

Eki Ag

This is not art. Art requires a level of creativity. This doesn’t. More likely just attention seeking behavior? 

Masesi Kubheka

This shows how dirty and evil this artist’s mind is. It depicts someone who is at war with himself. Can he show this to his kids with pride? He is a sick person.

This is not art but a total abuse of democracy and freedom of speech


“Zuma deserves to be painted naked!” 


Nikola Pikola

This artist shows how violated the South African people feel. Mr Zuma is corrupt. The word has lost its meaning. Just think about it. He is in a position of service. He could have served the people but he robbed them and he can never make it right. He has never shown remorse. He laughs about it every chance he gets. The anger on the street is real. The sense that our hands are tied: that our democracy is dead in its infancy. This is art: it is our voice. It isn’t a call to arms. It is how we mourn.

Nicholas Sheldon

With the stroke of a pen, Zuma can legally steal millions of dollars from millions of people. And with a paint brush, an artist can express a fury of intellectualism against corruption, without burning anything and without physically hurting anyone. That is true art! That is what inspires real thinking for real change.

 Sam Scapes

Apartheid artist also used graphic shock factor images, so just because this is of a sexual nature what is the problem? Is there any doubt what the artist is trying to convey? Definitely not. Although it’s not pleasant to look at I think he gets his point across loud and clear.

Love Of Truth

Respect President Zuma? Respect is earned. When a leader is found wanting the truth of the matter should be laid as explicitly as the brute definition of honesty. It may cloak itself as jam, jest, scorn or sarcasm but it must be said. This garbage about “African culture” is the sort of drivel spouted by average people who never bothered to understand our history beyond elementary school curriculum.  And while you are at it know that there are many different nations on this continent which have many different value systems.

Sabine Seven

People need to let artists do their work. Art is not only about painting/drawing beautiful pictures, but also provoking reactions and make people wake up. I’m sure that many people who pretend to be fuming about this, silently agree that Gupta has Zuma in his pocket. If you didn’t draw this, you will on the other hand never have so many people reacting. Simple as that. 

Bruno Onindo

An idiot is an idiot regardless of how old he feels. This is an accurate portrayal of the guy, what else has he done other than please his masters? There is a reason they say the truth hurts.

I’m sure that many people who pretend to be fuming about this, silently agree that Gupta has Zuma in his pocket

Jamilah Muhammad

This is great! freedom of expression at its best. Art isn’t just for pleasure to the eyes its also to make you think and question the powers that be.

John Billingsley

I don’t think the government would ever allow such art in my country Zambia,. The opposition can’t even hold rallies with police permission. This art speaks to the high level of democracy in South Africa. Controversial but admirable form of free speech.

Soai Masoetsa

Art is greatly influenced by prevailing situations, one of them is frustration. And you shouldn’t expect respect from such frustrated artists.