Illustrations by Zhi Zulu

WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES via Behance

Twenty-three-year-old Johannesburg-based Craft Gold Loerie award-winning illustrator Zinhle Zulu, aka Zhi Zulu, creates visual stories inspired by Zulu culture.

“Art is my passion, my energy supply and my life,” she explains on Behance. “My key goal is to send the message that I was created to communicate to the eyes and minds of the world through my illustrations. I believe that I am a vessel for the realm of art and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.”

The owner of a freelance illustration studio called Zuluvisual, Zhi has also illustrated a children’s book called My Future.

An illustration taken from children’s book, My Future.

“I make work that eludes to the investigation of my culture,” she continues. “I am a proud Zulu and I enjoy making contemporary visual representations of what I understand is relevant to current society. I have a clear vision of what impact I want to make through my art. Aside from enticing others to discover the rich uniqueness of their own culture, my goal is to influence the education sector by integrating my culture-inspired illustrations with the visual methods of teaching literacy in South Africa.”

To see more of Zinhle’s work, visit