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Reliving the Sesotho geometric art of Litema

Baba Tjeko is a multidisciplinary artist from Tumahole Parys who uses various creative mediums to express his opinions and tell stories. He paints a vivid picture of the African purpose and ideologies through his Litema artwork in the hope to inspire a young generation of designers. 

Hailing from South Africa, he is an artist popularly known for his Litema paintings and drawings. Litema is an aspect of Sotho mural art made up of ornamental geometric patterns often consisting of objects from the natural sources like animals or plants.

Photo Credit: Sharpeville Food Festival

Tjeko maintains that the Litema design is somewhat unpopular amongst illustrators and he is out to change the narrative. He makes a great effort to bring the work of art to life while also maintaining relevance amongst the youth. It’s become his life’s work after he quit a government job in pursuit of this passion.

The majority of his work portrays a human figure, infused with soft and bold Basotho patterns. More often than not, the piece is usually laced with white and black highlights, with hints of some primary colors in some of his pieces.

Photo credit 3: New Breed Art

The Voice, also known as The Township Voice is a publication with the sole aim of channeling the difficulties residents of the town are faced with. Tjeko is the brain behind its publications. At the BBM Stickathon Art competition in 2015, Baba was a worthy winner where his emotions were chosen. In the interim, he is gearing up for a career launch as a full-time visual artist.

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