TRUE grit, dedication and an unshakable belief in art has made Vathiswa Mtyalela one of the best local female artists.
Mtyalela, pictured, is one of the women taking part in this year's Black Like Us Exhibition.
Since its inception six years ago the exhibition has given previously disadvantaged artists great exposure.
The exhibition is on at the Manor Gallery in Fourways, north of Johannesburg.
Mtyalela, a well-known social expressionist, will blow the minds of art lovers with her work.
"This year's exhibition did not have a theme," she says. "We were told to paint from the heart, which is something I always do."
Mtyalela, who hails from Soweto, expresses the pain that many women refuse to talk about. She is the kind of woman who is not afraid to talk about sensitive and personal issues.
This time she is monitoring women' s progress .
"I like is to see women becoming more and more involved in labour structures. During Women's Month I am celebrating women through my art," she says.
Mtyalela uses bright colours to dress the women, to make them look bright and bubbly, while they hide the pain that is eating them on the inside.
"My favourite piece this year is: 'I heard a song within my soul'. While doing the painting I thought about the bright colours that we women wear to try and look good.
"We dress in bright colours to pretend everything is OK but on the inside we are depressed."
The exhibition runs until August 29.