From scratching drawings into the walls of his prison cell as a political detainee, to a world-renowned artist who expresses joy, poetry and inspiration in his bold abstracts and semi-abstracts, Xolile Mtakatya has come a long way. "I’m a member of Nando’s Artist Society, and part of the Creative Block programme that Nando’s supports. I’ve been a part of Nando’s Chicken Run, I’ve had my artwork installed in Nando’s in Long Street and in 2013 I went to Nando’s The Yards in Washington USA to create a site-specific installation in their restaurant there – and there have been other collaborations too. So Nando’s has played an ongoing role in my career as an artist. I like that their programmes allow good support to explore different mediums because we are able to afford different materials, and I’m always experimenting with different techniques for the monthly hand-ins. I enjoy playing the role of an artist in these programmes. It’s like working at gallery exhibition level but with more financial security than showing work or going on consignment, and that takes the stress off and allows creativity to flow. It also makes a big difference to have an artistic community rather than just staying at home and working by myself. Mingling, chatting and making friends with other artists has really helped."