Jan Maanda Thsikhuthula was born in the small town of Tzaneen, South Africa, in 1983. His love for art grew from 12 years of age, as he learned to draw and paint landscapes. He enrolled at the Motongoni Art Academy in 2005, and during this time he was introduced to different media and methods, which enabled him to explore wood sculptures, papier-mâché, clay and stone. During this time, he benefited from the mentorship of the founder of the academy, Avhashoti Mainnganye, who took an active interest in cultivating his talent.
The next chapter of Tshikhuthula’s journey as an artist was studying at Johannesburg’s Artist Proof Studio, from 2009. Here he learned different forms of printmaking, a process which played a major role in shaping the artist he is today. His time at Artist Proof Studio opened a lot of doors for Jan and saw him working with prominent artists such as William Kentridge, Kim Berman and Nandipha Mthambo, among others.