Donell Sengwayo prefers to work in pens, pencil and coloured pencils on paper in a genre that can be located within Afrofuturism, as young African Artists combine comic aesthetics, science fiction and hyper realism to illustrate a new future without the prejudice of years of colonialism and through which African characters are given new agency. The overall theme in his work is one of self discovery and search for a positive masculinity and energy as he aspires to be his own hero.
Sengwayo’s work tackles flawed masculinity and what it could mean to be an African man in the future, a recreation of the self in search of not of a new Identity, but one that has been introspective and has the advantage of looking out and into the future. The mask covering most of the face, portrays a sense of isolation but also a positive position of being able to stand back and assess from a distance, a self made hero, a character with a rough background that has given him an edge. The male figures in Sengwayo’s work is a version of himself, and how he wants to be, in a future that he is building for himself. All other characters in Sengwayo’s imagine futuristic world are humanoids, making the image which represents himself the closest to identifiably human character in this series. Sengwayo loves animals and chooses to personify their characteristics as ideal human aspirations, in particular one of his female characters, a warrior of her own making. Having been raised by a single mother, Sengwayo’s future depends on a stage shared by both masculine and feminine energies.