Nelson Makamo was born in the small town of Nylstroom (now Modimolle), Limpopo province, South Africa, in 1982. Makamo moved to Johannesburg to join the Artist Proof Studio in January 2003 where he studied for three years and worked for another two years as a sales representative and curator of the gallery. He was awarded a bursary from Johnson and Johnson and the Pinpoint one Human Resources Scholarship in 2005. Makamo has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in South Africa, Italy, France, America, Netherlands, Amsterdam and Scotland. His first solo exhibition Walk with Me was held at the Obert Contemporary Gallery In Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. His most notable group exhibition was alondside established artistsin Ten Years of Printmaking: David Krut Studio in 2006. Invited artists included David Koloane, Colbert Mashile, Deborah Bell and William Kentridge.
Mokomo’s commissioned works include a series of Lekas Lakalakala’s portraits for a chamber Lakalakala opened at Potgietersrus (now Makopane). Other commissioned works include portraits of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, and Walter Sisulu for Matasis Investment Holdings. Matasis was named after the afore mentioned political figures. Makamo’s work forms part of a few collections such as those of fashion mogul Georgio Armani and musician Annie Lennox.
Makamo was Art South Africa’s seventh Bright Young Thing and has recently won the Klipdrift Gold Artists Award. In 2010 he exhibited in the Reunion Biennale of Contemporary Art, in the same year he was commissioned by the BRT (Reavaya) to install his artwork in one of the bus terminals. Makamo participated as one of the artists in the 21 Year Celebration of the Artists Proof Studio at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Makamo currently works as a fulltime artist in Johannesburg with a studio at August House.