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All in the name of Love

By Khaya Ndaba

Can changing your name shift your outlook on the world you live in? In the case of Katlego Love Sithole, yes it can.

He is a visual artist from Maboneng, Johannesburg, who shatters the notion that “everything is because it always was”.

Love, as he likes to be called, is originally from Limpopo. About five years ago, he decided to change his last name to his father’s name but it was difficult because his grandfather did not want to divulge his family origins.

At the time he was using his mother’s clan name of Modise. He was then Katlego Paul Modise.

The task became even more challenging when his grandfather passed away in 2019 and nobody knew exactly where his grandfather’s side of the family came from.

He asked his father to give him Katlego as a clan name, as neither of them had one, but sadly his father wasn’t willing to do that.

Love decided to go to Home Affairs in October 2020 to legally change his name to “Katlego Love Sithole”. He dropped Paul because he simply didn’t like the name and Sithole was his mother’s maiden name.

Changing his name reflects his thoughts, life and art.

“I’ve always had a sense that this world doesn’t look right and I always wanted to change it,” said 31-year-old Love.

“The older I got the more I realised just how traumatised our black parents are based on our history as a people.”

Before he became an artist, he was an administrative accountant for a healthcare company.

That’s where he taught himself about graphic design on YouTube and he also discovered the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Love soon quit his job because of the toxic corporate environment and started doing art full-time.

“I want to find ways to open people’s eyes, to start confronting the truth so we can live in the real world,” he told Scrolla.Africa.

And with his work Love wants all of us to realise how love — and art — can conquer all.

Pictured above: Katlego Love Sithole

Image source: Supplied

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