Duke Ketye was born was born on 6 June 1943 in Orlando east, Soweto. Ketye attended Ematsheni Primary School in Orlando East, Soweto. He completed Standard VII in King William\'s Town and matric at St Francis College in Mariannhill. In I960 and 1961 he attended Lumko Art School in Queenstown and studied under Sister Pientia Selhorst C.P.S. He then moved to Mariannhill where he continued to study with Sister Pientia and Sister Johanna Sen until 1965. While there he was a awarded a bursary for a correspondence study course through the Famous Art School in Connecticut, USA. Between 1965 and 1968 he worked at Jads Badge Factory and then at Flora Ann ceramic factory and George Goch in Jeppe, Transvaal. In 1968 Ketye began painting and sculpting full-time. 

In 1970 he moved to Durban. In 1977 Ketye renovated some unused buildings at Mariannhill and founded the Mariannhill Art Centre, a gallery and studio space. Ketye ran the Centre and beginning in 1978 held group exhibitions of work by Rorke's Drift artists and the Vukuzenzele Weaving Workshop artists and one-person exhibitions of work by artists such as Michael Zondi and Ruben Xulu. Between 1981 and 1983 Ketye lived in Port Edward with potters Steve and Angelique Kirk where he learned about pottery and ceramic sculptures. He then went to Venda where he opened a screen print factors' at Makhado. Ketye's work has been exhibited at the U2 African Arts Festival and he has also served as a judge for the exhibition.

Exhibitions: 1965: DAM (Bantu Inter Faith Art Exhibition). 1968: Mona Lisa Art Gallery, Johannesburg (solo). 1971: NSA, Durban (solo). 1972: NSA, Durban (three-person exhibition). 1973: Pretoria; New York, USA; London, UK (group exhibition sponsored by the Bantu Investment Corporation). 1975: Art Society, International Monetary Fund, Washington, DC, USA (solo). 1977: NSA, Durban (three-person with Sokhaya Nkosi and Michael Ntuli). Pietermaritzburg (Living Arts Festival ”” group). 1980: NSA, Durban (solo). 1981: Carlton Gallery Johannesburg (group). 1984: Venda Sun Hotel, Thohoyandou (VhaVenda Art Exhibition). 1986: FUBA (group). Ditike ”” The Craft House of Venda (group).

Commissions: 1974: Wood panels commissioned by Evan Mackintosh and Associates, Architects for municipal buildings and library in Walvis Bay. 1975-6: Wood panel for Natal Blood Transfusion Service, near Pinetown, Natal. Wood panel for Seminary College at Umtata. Stations of the Cross for a Roman Catholic Church at Basotho Qwa Qwa near Harrismith. 1978: Mural paintings for the Glebelands Beer Hall near Durban. 1979: Illustrations for Zulu Bible, Indaba Enhle ka Nkulunkulu (The Good News of God).

Collections: KC; UZ.


Sack, S. (1988). The Neglected Tradition, Johannesburg: Johannesburg Art Gallery.

Collections in the Archives