Mwanawassa Mawelela is born in Zambia, where he chose to follow art as a career. He attended art school, followed by an art0centerd university in Zimbabwe.
In 2006 Mwanawassa left Zambia and moved to Johannesburg. After an attack, where almost all of his belongings were stolen, he found two cardboard boxes. He ripped them in pieces and started to paint them. At that point he started using cardboard as his medium.
Mwanawassa capteres in his art the conflict that refugees face, with his subject matter based primarily on woman and children.
Mwanawassa currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.