B I O G R A P H Y
Zola Dube's mission is to raise the profile and identification of Ubuhlalu as an African/Nguni art form, central to the cultural heritage and legacy of African/Nguni people. The Isintu Foundation, founded in 2006, seeks to research, promote and preserve Ubuhlalu according to indigenous intelligence and African standards of quality and workmanship. Towards this mission, the location and representation of Ubuhlalu in its historical, social and cultural context is imperative.
Julia Cumming & Quayla Bramble
M E E T T H E T E A M
M I S S I O N
Zola was born in London and raised in New York City. Her family's force exile prevented her from traveling to her homeland until she was an adult, when the political climate in South Africa changed. Zola comes from a matrilineal line of traditional healers from KwaZulu (South Africa). It was during Zola's introduction to Zulu healing and knowledge systems in KwaZulu that she learned the principles of Ubuhlalu (lit. "that which makes me stay" or "Beadwork"). Alongside master beaders, Zola also learned the underlying meaning of bead colors, layout and design. Pulling from ancient Zulu/Nguni Knowledge and Messaging Systems represented in cosmology, etymology, sacred geometry and colors, all of Zola's work is a tribute to Isintu "The Way of The People". Isintu is also the name of the nonprofit organization Zola founded in 2006.
In 2013, Zola began instructing individuals and small groups the art of Ubuhlalu in New York City. She has since gone on to present workshops in other regions of North America. Zola currently works as a Consultant and Teaching Artist, teaching Ubuhlalu with special attention to the underlying symbolism and social context in which the art form resides. In so doing, fulfilling one of her core missions - raising the profile of indigenous knowledge and its supporting systems, including the preservation of authentic African art/art forms.