Nontobeko Ntombela has been a member of staff in the department of History of Art and Heritage at Wits School of Arts since 2012. Her teaching portfolio largely focuses on curatorial and exhibition practices, and she has developed this area as a new elective track for the postgraduate studies in History of Art and Heritage.
She holds a masters in Fine Arts from Wits (2013) and is currently enrolled in a PhD programme in History of Art at Rhodes University. Her previous employment includes: curator of the contemporary collection at the Johannesburg Art Gallery (2010 – 2012), curator and gallery manager at Durban Institute of Technology Art Gallery (2006–2010), public art project coordinator at Amafa Heritage KZN (2006) and curator at Bat Centre Art Galleries, Durban (2002-2005).
Ntombela has curated a number of exhibitions and some of her most recent projects include; Spectaculaire (2013) at Frac des Pays de la Loire, France; The Two Talking Yonis (2013) at Constitution Hill (Women’s Jail), Room and Kalashnikovv gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; A Fragile Archive (2012) at the Johannesburg Art Gallery; and Made in Africa (2012), co-curated with Andile Magengelele at Sandton Art Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2010 she received a fellowship grant towards her studies from the Ford Foundation and in the same year she was guest curator of the MTN New Contemporaries exhibition.
Ntombela has also participated in a few international curatorial programmes, such as the Residency XXVII Ateliers Internationaux du Frac des Pays de la Loire (2013), Carquefou, France; Curatorial Intensive (2013), hosted by Independent Curators International in partnership with the Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa; Bilateral Exchange Project Germany and South Africa (2007) at Bochum Museum, Germany; and curators’ workshop Close Connections (Africa Reflected), Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, Amsterdam (2009).
She serves on the Visual Art Task Team for the South African Department of Arts and Culture (2012- ). From 2011 to 2014, she served on the Visual Art Panel Committee of National Arts Council of South Africa. She has also served on other committees such as the KwaZulu Natal Society of Art, African Art Centre, Art for Human Rights Trust.
Her research interests involve examining visual politics of contemporary art of Africa within curatorial and exhibition practices.