2 Linking Africa 36 The Crafts of the Continent of Africa
A letter from the CEO of Makhaya Arts
and Cultural Development 38 Crafting the Economy
3 Africa Village
42 Basket Weaving
Bringing Africa to Europe
8 South Africa in Colours 46 Feat of Clay
An event celebrating South Africa
50 The Glory of Beads
10 A Free State of Mind The Masters of South African Production
Explore a beautiful part of the world and Design
16 The Beat of the Nation 52 Ardmore
Artistic expression through dance and
Lasers meet the violin in an aerial 56 The African Art Centre
spectacular Limpopo Ceramics
22 Lovely Lira 57 Rebtex
The new voice of Africa
58 High Thorn
24 On the Catwalk
A walk through fashion
60 Moya Afrika
26 David Tlale
Fashion designer making waves 62 Wining and Whaling
Wine and whales of the Cape
30 An African Canvas
Discover the artistic side of 68 The Rainbow Nation
South Africa South Africa – the land of contrasts
32 Meeting Point
74 Makhaya Art & Cultural development
rumoured that all white people were to be annihilated
was shocking. The rest of the story is history as I
witnessed the most unexpected peaceful transition of
political power, from a minority of white people to the
majority of indigenous black people. The following
years in South Africa were an incredible study of a
people in freedom.
With this a wealth of cultural heritage was released,
the history of the country and its original people
has been re-told, those branded as criminals and
vigilantes have now become heroes of the struggle,
and people walk free, masters of their own destiny.
The final death of apartheid in South Africa seemed
to sound the bell for Africa, to rise and shine, to
stand, celebrate and show its true colours.
As a justification for the rape and pillage of the
African continent over the past centuries, Africa has
been painted with a tarred brush, as wild, untamed,
anarchic, violent and heathen. It seldom occurs that
people perceive Africa as gentle, passionate, wise,
and a place of exceptional peace and beauty. Now,
in the world’s rush to globalise, standardise and
other any ‘ise’ possible, overlooked in this process,
discarded by many unsuccessful marriages of
colonisation, Africa stands proud, rich and colourful.
Linking Africa Deep in its belly Africa carries thousands of pictures
and stories of life and struggle. From our point of
view, we believe it time for the world to see Africa
and its people through our eyes, its magnificence,
s a result of many discussions with frica Village is a celebration of African documentaries, and anything else the designers may
sense of celebration and joy in doing what Africans
African, European and Russian leaders, diplomats, culture, traditions and people. A unique decide at the last minute. Africa Village offers ‘an
do in Africa.
officials and businesspeople, in Africa Village we presentation fusion of African dance, music, experience of Africa’.
remain convinced of not only the mutual benefits of art and crafts finds its roots in traditional
We have many programs in action, linking to Africa,
connecting these continents but of the necessity.
We consistently discover knowledge, research,
of which this Africa Village publication is one. We
culture carried into today’s contemporary world.
Aiming at all the senses; sight,
welcome you and trust that your journey with us is
products and services on both sides from which all fruitful and as pleasurable for you to receive as it is
Conceived by South African company, Makhaya Art sound, touch, smell and taste,
language is transcended in
would derive great benefit, should their existence and Cultural Development, the Africa Village project
ours to give.
be known. Considering the tremendous advances is supported by South African National Distribution
in communications and technology over the past Kind regards
Fund in its program to present Africa Village in 3 vibrant colourful and energetic
years it remains intriguing how little nations and even Eastern European cities per year. While introducing
neighbours know of each other.
audiences to the many South African cultures, past dance, art, designer crafts,
and present, events offer development to the artists music and visuals, serving as
My experience in South Africa was not unique to while simultaneously creating a platform from
myself, but the experience itself is considered as which tourism and other business opportunities may an excellent and informative
very unique. In my case, the uniqueness of events in
South Africa in 1994 were more apparent as this was
introduction to the beautiful and
set against my mental backdrop of war, bombings Live dance shows are designed to entertain while diverse country, South Africa.
and death in Eastern Europe at the time. The release informing and educating. Art exhibitions express
of Nelson Mandela from prison and the recognition of impressions of life in Africa, amidst dynamic visual Launched in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia, Africa Village
ANC (African National Congress) political party had media projecting landscapes, village and city life, and looks to quickly establish itself as the primary
resulted in a mass of national mixed emotion varying live craft demonstrations showing traditional hand African festival in Europe and Russia. The diversity
from fear and disbelief to jubilation and celebration. crafting techniques in progress. Typical of any village, of activity appeals to young and old, to be visited for
As a visitor and up to that point, observer, realising Africa Village maintains a constant buzz of activity entertainment, to receive information, purchase an
that my skin was white in a country where it was on stage and off, with storytelling, drum and dance African gift, or book an Adventure Tour. Most of all
workshops, a ‘taste of Africa’ in wines or foods, Africa Village is an invitation to step into Africa.
Africa Village is
an invitation to
step into Africa...
Past and present
A frica Village launched in the late summer
in Belgrade, Serbia in 2008, the first presentation of
South Africa as an arts and cultural identity in Eastern
again, followed immediately after with Ljubljana,
Slovenia. Africa Village attracted media attention
across Europe and even as far as South Korea, with
requests arriving from several cities to host such an
event. Strong exhibits of traditional crafts supported
Europe. Attended by then SA Ambassador to the by the crafters in traditional dress, drum and dance
country the Honourable Mrs Marasha drums beat the workshops, exhibits of South African visual artists
South African entrance to the region. and ceramicists amidst the traditional dance and
music show compiled by international singer Mrs
This retrospectively modest event was repeated by Sonti Ndebele, established the look and feel of this
a larger event presented at the Museum of African quality, entertaining presentation.
Art, Belgrade in the following year, 2009. A group of
8 traditional dancers led by well known singer and Africa Village continues to make headlines attracting
entertainer Thapelo Mofokeng enthralled audiences, the attention of both African and European leaders
increasing each day of the 4 day event. Craft stands and audiences. Rather than South Africa falling into
exhibited a wide range of South African crafts the large and obscure region of southern Africa its
representing an approximate 30 crafters. unique identity and contribution to global culture
is becoming known. Active and aggressive
With the support of the South African National marketing on behalf of exhibitors, craft products,
Lottery Distribution Fund in 2010 the event really art and performers is resulting in sales
grew legs presenting over 3 days in Belgrade and enquiries.
South Africa that are easily placed in any modern home or
The objective of presenting South Africa
in Colours is to attract and entertain new
By Makhaya Art & Cultural Development audiences showcasing the best of South
African talent and change many pre-conceived
South Africa in Colours arrives in distant lands perceptions, while re-positioning and identifying
bringing an arts and cultural presentation from South Africa’s location in a global context.
the Rainbow Nation. The Rainbow Nation By doing this Makhaya Art and Cultural
derives its name from the fact that South Africa Development believe that new markets are
acknowledges its people from 9 major cultural created, not only for the arts, but doors are
tribes, many smaller ones and is a country opened raising awareness of South Africa as
inhabited by those from many other nations. a leisure and business tour destination and
potential trade partner.
South Africa in Colours comes to present
a country with traditional and cultural roots Key to design and presentation of events is the
while simultaneously and equally a modern, focus on positive messages, of life and living
contemporary country that is very much part in Africa, celebration of freedom, embracing
of the global community. This message is of unique and beautiful cultures, the energy of
conveyed in all elements of the 4 day event; dance and movement, love of awe inspiring and
live performances deliver authentic displays of diverse landscapes, fauna and flora, and the joy
traditional dance and music and then present of being the Rainbow Nation.
some of South Africa’s top current performers.
Similarly, art exhibitions express traditional We welcome all exhibitors and visitors to South
Africanism in a contemporary society, while Africa in Colours, and invite you to join us in an
fashion, crafts and decor products inspired experience of our Africa. Dance, drum, sing and
by age old cultural traditions and designs touch Africa with us!
TOURISM Clarens and set up shop. In-migrators have
left their urban environments and come to live
permanently, in the golf estates around the village
and in the quiet, poplar-lined streets of Clarens
itself. And the weekend warriors still arrive in their
thousands, to scout out the art galleries, make
South Africa’s ‘rolling merry in the pubs, buy excellent and reasonably
prairie province’, the
priced books at The Bibliophile (one of SA’s finest
private bookshops), fish, hike, ride horses or test
Free State, is rich
their 4X4s on any number of farm trails.
with tourism assets. Even Hollywood has given the mountainside
settlement its stamp of approval, in the form of
In a whirlwind trip, actor Brad Pitt, who stayed over in 2004 while on
a social responsibility mission in the area. Rumours
Chris Marais reveals abounded that Brad was going to buy property
around here. Thank heavens he didn’t – imagine
ten Free State hotspots what the going prices for Clarens real estate would
have been then…
you should never
Apart from its spectacular Anglo-Boer War
blockhouse, graveyard and general memorabilia,
Text & Photographs by Chris Marais Harrismith is also famous for its delicious steaks –
this is red meat country.
Just getting to Harrismith from Clarens is a journey
Eastern Free State – Clarens worth the drive, for it takes you through the
The village of Clarens wears the party hat of the magnificent Golden Gate Park, with its sandstone
Free State province. In 1912 the HMS Titanic went cathedrals, raptors wheeling in the thermals high
down in the chilly Atlantic Ocean – and the village above and then out past the Basotho Cultural
of Clarens was born, nestling into sandstone hills Centre, the bustle of Phuthaditjaba, the sprawling
under the brooding presence of Mount Horeb. As waters of Sterkfontein Dam and into downtown
you drive in from the Bethlehem side, you pass Harrismith. One of the major attractions of the area
a looming massif ironically called Titanic Rock – is Intabazwe Township, which is full of characters
and within minutes you’re in a settlement that is with friendly faces and colourful stories to tell. Ask
famous for reinventing itself every decade or so. for a guide at the Harrismith Tourism offices in the
centre of town.
It was once a quiet farming centre, seasonally
bedecked in snow and sparsely populated. Then it Verkykerskop
became a hippy artists’ haven, and a touchstone On your drive up the scenic R722 from Harrismith
for creative souls from all over South Africa. This to Memel, tucked between glistening cosmos
drew the weekend tourists from Durban and fields and the vast grasslands of the Eastern Free
Johannesburg and Clarens became the perfect State, is a little general dealer shop encrusted with
antidote to a stressful city week. those precious old enamel signs for which you
pay fortunes. They get taken down, pressed into
Right now, it’s a village that caters for young and service as walls for hoenderhokke (chicken runs)
old, sedentary and adventurous, arty and hungry, and then discovered and sold as “antiques” to the
thirsty and meditative. People have flocked to smart set for thousands of rands.
This is Verkykerskop, a formerly run down trading and surrounding area, you will find more than 250 It is the site of one of the largest Anglo-Boer War and little chance of being run over in the traffic –
store that has been given a new lease of life as a species of birds. concentration camps in the country, and many unless you get in the way of the odd horse-drawn
general dealer and restaurant, run by a dynamic people come here to find out about their long-lost cart parading down the main drag.
young couple who hail from Johannesburg. Their Twitchers from all over the world come to view the ancestors who died in the conflict.
Sunday lunches are legendary, and you might Rudd’s and Botha’s Larks, the Yellow-breasted Philippolis was born in 1823 as a mission station
even be lucky enough to get barracuda steak. One Pipit, the Wattled, Blue and Crowned Crane, the The outdoor types, however, love to use the local for the Bushmen. The co-founders, the London
of the local farmers is a deep-sea fisherman who Southern Bald Ibis, the African Marsh Harrier, Gariep Dam Airport as a base for air-gliding, one of Mission Society, appointed Dr John Philip as their
does not like eating fish – to the benefit of the rest Stanley’s Bustard, the Lesser Kestrel, the White- the growing sports in the region. There are birds to representative – hence the town’s name.
of us… Bellied Korhaan and the Cape Vulture. watch, fossils to find, trails to hike and all manner
of water sports available on the dam itself. But one After the Khoi came the Griqua nation and a
Memel Southern Free State – Bethulie of the favourite activities out here is to simply sit succession of their leaders, from Adam Kok I to
Memel is Prussian for “surrounded by water”. And Bethulie, which lies near the Mother Dam (Gariep) out on a clear night and see a wide-angle canopy III. Then the Boers arrived in the area and began
the name is apt, because the massive wetland of South Africa, has had no fewer than eight name of stars in the clear skies above. farming this semi-arid land. Basotho and Xhosa
around Memel (Seekoeivlei) was declared a changes in its lifetime. The town began as Groot people followed shortly thereafter.
Ramsar site in 1999 - a wetland of international Moordenaarspoort (Great Murderer’s Defile) and Philippolis
importance. The wetland is massive - spanning has now settled on Bethulie (Chosen by God), a In the evenings, one feels the soul of the Karoo in Today, more than 3 000 people call Philippolis
about 3 000 hectares - and takes in 253 oxbows wonderful weekend hideaway town in the Falsch a simple walk around Philippolis in the southern home, and the village is beginning to re-discover
in a 14-km stretch. And in that wetland reserve Karoo. Free State, where there is absolutely no rush hour its past and look to its future. Consider the facts:
to come out of the Earth, according to geologist
Stephen E Haggerty of the University of The Free State
They were driven to the surface via the extinct
volcanic kimberlite pipe that also threw up the VISION
famous blue-white diamonds. The rocks come The Vision of the Free State Tourism Authority
from the heart of Earth’s upper mantle, 300 to 400 is for the Free State to be recognised as a
km below our feet. preferred inland tourism destination and an
essential part of the foreign tourist’s itinerary
One of the town’s greatest assets is Glaasstudio, during their visit to South Africa.
where Naas and Gil Vermaak and their team
of crafters are making world class African wire MISSION
products with an elegant French twist, decorated The Mission of Free State Tourism Authority
with glass and shiny beads, sent all over South is to represent all our key stakeholders
Africa and the world. and customers, be they public, private or
community based participants within the
Fauresmith tourism sector, to ensure that they achieve
Fauresmith is really famous for its annual their objectives of sustainable prosperity for the
endurance rides, which began in 1964. A year overall benefit of the Free State Economy.
later, sixty of the horses died of poisoning,
administered by someone with a grudge against Contact Details
the event. Today, there are more than 300 entries
each year, coming from all over the equestrian Physical Address:
• The Kok dynasty history is steeped in SA culture nearly 3 000 Boer women and children. More than Mimosa Mall, 131 Kellner Street, 2nd Floor
world. It’s called the Fauresmith International
and, particularly, that of the Griquas; 700 of them died in that time. Office Towers, Brandwag, Bloemfontein, 9300,
Endurance Ride, and is considered the toughest
• After the Anglo Boer War, world-renowned Free State, South Africa
race of its kind – anywhere.
humanitarian Emily Hobhouse chose Philippolis Edgar Wallace, the renowned author, editor and
as the site for a spinning and weaving school for war correspondent once found himself mired in Postal Address:
women; Springfontein. He wrote some colour pieces for Private Bag X20805, Bloemfontein, 9300, Free
The most significant icons of the diamond town of
• The international naturalist, war hero and writer his readers back in the UK about a soldier’s life State, South Africa
Sir Laurens van der Post, spent his childhood in a blockhouse, once of which looms over N1
years in Philippolis; highway near the town. Tel: +27 (0)51 411-4300
• The Big Kettle icon that stands at the entrance
• More than 200 bird species are to be found in Fax: +27 (0)51 444-0297
the area, and the fact that as many as 1 300 Today, Springfontein slumbers on, amidst a Email: email@example.com
• The fact that the great writer Etienne Leroux
blue cranes lurk in the local grasslands and number of guest houses, roadside stalls and
(Magersfontein, O Magersfontein) used to live
wheatfields is a big plus for the growing band of an excellent farmstay where families break the
“twitchers” worldwide; journeys and get to pet an agricultural beast.
nearby here on a farm and, as his colleague Enquiries:
Chris Barnard once said, “always used to wear Clarens: www.goclarens.co.za
• Philippolis is relatively crime-free,
a black turtleneck, black pants, black leather Harrismith: www.countryroads.co.za/harrismith
uncommercialised and friendly; Jagersfontein
jacket and dark glasses. He always had three Verkykerskop: www.grasslandsmeander.co.za
• Artists and writers are snapping up the Many Jagersfontein houses still retain their
packets of cigarettes, two full and one empty. Memel: www.wheretostay.co.za
inexpensive country homes, to be used as graceful Victorian facades, and there’s a regular
No one knew why…” Bethulie: www.bethulie.com
creative retreats. flow of tourists coming to see the largest man-
• The diamond mine, which is still operating; Philippolis: www.philippolis.org.za
made hole on Earth. They’re often charmed
• The open air museum. During WW2, a number Springfontein:
Springfontein to observe a breeding pair of Verreaux’s
Italian POWs were kept here in an internment www.springfontein-guest-house.com
During the Anglo-Boer War, Springfontein had the eagles nesting and hunting along the steep
camp – alongside pro-Nazi sympathisers. One Jagersfontein, Fauresmith, Koffiefontein:
largest field hospital in the southern hemisphere, rocky sides.
prisoner-artist painted – among other things – a look up the Horizon Route on
railway lines from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and
huge wall portrait of Il Duce (Mussolini), which www.africandream.org
East London all met here on their way to the Reef Not many know that the rocks found at
– and there was a concentration camp holding Jagersfontein are the deepest known samples
I n one field especially, the new
freedoms of post-apartheid
South Africa have brought
new life - dance has became
a prime means of artistic expression, with dance
companies expanding and exploring new territory.
Music and dance are pulling in new audiences and
a number of home-grown productions, particularly
those aimed at the popular market, have taken South
Africa and, in some cases, the world, by storm.
coming together in response to the beating of the
drum is an opportunity to give one another a sense
of belonging and of solidarity. It is a time to connect
with each other, to be part of that collective rhythm of
life in which young and old, rich and poor, men and
women all contribute to society.
Traditional dances often do not appear in isolation
but are part of broader cultural activities: There are
many forms of African dance, some of which are
South Africa has had a long tradition of fine classical
ballet but, until relatively recently, contemporary Warrior Dances. Dance movements mimic
dance was not an important feature of the local battlefield tactics such as stabbing and fighting,
dance scene. Since the late-1970s, though, that preferring to end victorious. This dance consists
has changed, and contemporary dance companies of phrases of movements
have burgeoned and spawned an “Afrofusion” that
combines the techniques of formal dance training Dances of Love are performed on special
with a spirit that is purely African. The result, a blend accessions, such as weddings and anniversaries.
of multiple cultures, including classical ballet, is
controversial and hugely exciting. Rites of Passage and Coming of Age Dances
are performed to mark the coming of age of
African dance refers mainly to the dance of Sub- young men and women. They give confidence
Saharan Africa, and more appropriately African to the dancers who have to perform in front of
dances because of the many cultural differences in everyone. It is then formally acknowledged they
musical and movement styles. These dances must are adults. This builds pride, as well as a stronger
be viewed in close connection with African music, sense of community.
as many African languages have no word to define
music. These dances teach social patterns and Dances of Welcome are a show of respect and
values and helps people work, mature, praise or pleasure to visitors, as well as a show of how
criticize members of the community while celebrating talented & attractive the host villagers are.
festivals and funerals, competing, reciting history,
proverbs and poetry; and to encounter gods. Dances of Possession and Summoning These
are common themes, and very important in many
The most widely used musical instrument in Africa is traditional african religions. They all share one
the human voice. common link: a call to a Spirit. These spirits can
be the spirits of Plants or Forests, Ancestors,
Although nomadic groups do not traditionally use or Deities.
drums; in villages throughout the continent, the
sound and the rhythm of the drum express the mood Townships created during the colonial period
of the people. The drum is the sign of life; its beat is removed people, and their dance, from the
the heartbeat of the community. Such is the power traditional environment. Beer halls became
of the drum to evoke emotions, to touch the souls of community centres of sorts with drinking, socializing,
those who hear its rhythms. In an African community, and dancing.
Gumboot dance developed from traditional African The mine executives tried to divide workers from
roots, to become a part of urban South African each other even when they were not working, for
working-class culture. The practice began with fear of solidarity and uprising. Their overcrowded
rural laborers who came to work at the gold mines of living quarters were segregated along ethnic or
Witwatersrand in South Africa. They brought tribal lines. At the same time, they were forbidden
with them strong traditions of rhythm, song, and to carry on their traditions, or wear traditional
dance. Facing oppression and hardship at the dress, in an attempt to virtually erase their ethnic
mines, including punishment if they talked to identity. Faced with this repressive regime, workers
each other while working, they were forced to adapt adapted traditional dances and rhythms to the only
and create new forms of communication instruments available - their boots and bodies.
Inside the mines, the workers used the gumboots
The fact that many ethnic groups and languages to communicate with each other, by slapping their
existed side by side also contributed to developing boots, stamping their feet, and rattling their ankle
their associations through the shared language of chains. As the form also developed into a popular
rhythm and music. In the mines they worked for three social activity, songs dealing with working-class life,
months at a time, doing long, hard, repetitive toil. In drinking, love, family, low wages and mean bosses
the total darkness of the mines, many workers were were sung to accompany the movements.
chained to their workstations and forbidden to speak
with one another. Hundreds of workers were killed Some employers eventually became aware of this
every year in accidents and many were beaten and emerging dance form, and the more tolerant ones
abused by the foremen. The conditions of the mines allowed the best dancers to form troupes. These
were deplorable, where mine floors often flooded troupes were used to entertain visitors and spread
due to poor drainage, causing skin problems and good PR by representing their company. It was
disease. Rather than spending money to properly not unusual for these performer’s songs, sung in the
drain the shafts, the bosses issued rubber gumboots worker’s native languages, to openly mock
to the workers. The miners uniform thus consisted of their bosses and criticize wages and conditions,
jeans or overalls, bandannas to absorb their sweat, while the bosses listened on, blissfully ignorant of
hard hats, and gumboots. the content.
daredevil of a performer that does things LASER VIOLIN
her way - sliding across table tops & rocking A world first concept developed by Johannesburg-
electrifying showstoppers, strutting down based, award winning, special effects company Laser
catwalks or performing a breathtaking X. Caitlin is proud to be pioneering the ‘Laser Violin’
indoor aerial violin act, setting the sky ablaze with her and has wowed audiences across South Africa and
laser violin or partying up a storm with her dancers - as far afield as Mauritius & Ghana with her Laser Violin
Caitlin is an electric violinist who doesn’t play it safe. performances.
Her live performance is an explosive entertainment
experience with a repertoire focused around show
pieces; hard-dance remixes of recognizable classics;
rock anthems and crowd-pleasing classical-pop.
was spectacular and
An electric instrumentalist through and through, her
nothing short of brilliant..’ -
sound has been influenced by legendary electric joburg.co.za,
guitarists such as Slash, Brian May and Jerry C!
During her on-stage performance, one of her special (City of Johannesburg website)
edition; hi-tech Yamaha electric violins is channelled
through a variety and combination of effects pedals
to create her distinctive sound - paired with her AERIAL VIOLIN
uninhibited, wild stage presence - it makes for a truly An all new performance experience! Caitlin’s aerial
electrifying show. violin performance is visually surreal. She has been seen
back flipping and playing upside-down; performing at
Over the past year, Caitlin has stunned audiences death-defying heights for the official opening of the ICC
across South Africa and Zambia as well as in Champions Trophy in South Africa,2009; as part of
Ghana, Malawi, Mauritius & The Seychelles. She has aerial extravaganza show ‘Bohemia!’ in the Seychelles
performed for Royalty, Presidents & World leaders and at South Africa’s first ever Pacha Ibiza party hosted
including HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, at Cape Town’s hottest night spot Vaudeville & The Fez!
Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr. Navinchandra
Ramgoolam, Presidents Jacob Zuma, Kenya’s Roaming between tables or demanding attention
Raila Amolo Odinga, Lesotho’s Pakalitha Mosisili, onstage. Performing jazzy background music through
Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Zambia’s Rupiah Banda to classical-pop and well-known favourites – Caitlin is
and former secretary general of the United Nations sure to dazzle your guests whatever the occasion
Kofi Annan. may be.
o say that that Lira is South Africa’s most More than that, Lira’s career has been marked, and enduring radio hit – earning a place as one of the The Blu-ray was be released internationally in
successful and high-profile young female solo from the start, by a deeply felt, and brilliantly most-played songs ever on South African radio. January 2011 – following a remastered second
artist just a handful of albums into her career is conveyed sense of integrity – both in the way she Lira’s follow-up, 2008’s SOUL IN MIND, was as edition of the ‘LIVE IN CONCERT - A CELEBRATION’
no puffery. conducts her life and in the lyrics that have helped potent, earning Lira Album of the Year and CD that features over 20 minutes of previously
ensure Lira stands out in a crowded musical Best Female Artist awards at the 2009 South African unreleased concert material and bonus tracks.
From her first tentative steps with the 2003 album, landscape. Clearly, creating music that stands as Music Awards. The power of Lira’s growing list of live Among these is the tribute song to Nelson Mandela
ALL MY LOVE to her 2006 record FEEL GOOD a beacon of inspiration, as well as providing pure performances, both locally and aboard, meant that ‘Something Inside So Strong’ as performed by Lira
and 2008’s SOUL IN MIND, the girl from Daveyton entertainment to fans, is something else she made it two in a row when she was named Best and the Soweto Spiritual Singers at the Sony 3D
township on Joburg’s East Rand (who wrote her Lira treasures. Female Artist in 2010 for the live recording LIVE IN stage at the Nelson Mandela Square on 4 July 2010
first song when she was just 16) has pursued a CONCERT - A CELEBRATION. – an ecstatically received performance that added to
career that has put her on top of her very That Lira was able to use her light-filled, power- Lira’s considerable FIFA 2010 World Cup presence
considerable game. packed voice, mesmerising live performance and In fact, the success of the latter DVD was proved (including a duet on Listen Up! The official FIFA 2010
songwriting gift (the same one that spurred her to when it became the fastest selling locally World Cup album).
Not that Lira herself would boast about where she leave a potential accounting and auditing career for released live DVD in South Africa’s history – reaching
currently stands in the firmament of South African music) to captivate fans came most visible with the double platinum status less than a year after its Early 2011 sees the release of Lira’s fourth studio
artists. Little matters to this woman who has been release of her Sony debut, FEEL GOOD. release. record – RETURN TO LOVE. It’s an album that again
named a style icon, a role-model, a multiple award- raises the bar for an artist who never ceases to push
winner and platinum artist, than refining a sound The title alone struck deep into the hearts of a diverse News that Lira followed up this feat with the first-ever forward. And it’s likely to be Lira’s breakthrough
that’s unmistakably hers – one that’s as accessible to grouping of fans, who were looking for something release of a live music concert on Blu-ray in South record into a global market that is set to be as
the fans who have sustained her career so far as a positive and inspiring to provide the soundtrack to Africa came as no surprise to a fanbase used to smitten by this genuinely warm, hugely gifted artist as
new audience internationally. their lives. The album’s title track became an instant – this artist setting the benchmark for others to follow. her homegrown fans are.
A frica is blessed
with a rich
cultures, and this is explicitly evident in African
fashion. There is currently a large market for African
fashion, and the rest of the world scours every
corner of the continent searching for ideas to use in
haute couture and then sell for millions. Africans are
renowned for painting the world in a kaleidoscope
of bold colours and motifs, and for their vibrant
colour combinations, dazzling patterns, rich fabrics,
fabulous headgear and elegant gowns.
The presence of textiles in Africa dates back to
around 1000 BC when the trans-Saharan traders
used strip cloth as a form of currency. As a result,
African textiles were popularised worldwide. In the
1400s, European coastal traders even preferred
African fabrics to fine European fabrics! The
development of trade with the world established a
ruling class in Africa, which in turn brought about
a need for luxury items. African textiles, with their
distinctive quality and colour, came to represent
wealth, popularity and social status in fashionable
The textile and clothing industry has high value-
added segments where design, research and
development are important competitive factors. The
high-end of the fashion industry is human capital
intensive in design and marketing. Africa certainly has
the labour and creativity, but may lack the research
Phoenician times. At various points in history, and developmental elements.
migration has spread African textiles to different
regions of the continent and the rest of the world. The full potential of Africa’s fashion industry is yet to
The colourful cloths of Africa were a sign of wealth be realised.
David Tlale’s “Made in the City” Being the first designer to ever showcase on a
monumental structure, fashion mogels were thrilled
collection visits Paris by the spectacle of the 92 garments parading along
the Cities heratige bridge, something Mr Tlale must
and Vienna. be exceptoinally proud to have achieved.
David Tlale, one of South Africa’s most revered “The City of Johannesburg is buzzing with vibrant
fashion designers, is set to visit Paris and Vienna in energy, urban structures and all that is reflective of
June where he continues the journey of his “Made the 21st Century Africa and it boasts one of the most
in the City” 2011 Autumn/Winter collection, which respected statesman, Madiba (Nelson Mandela),
was showcased on the Nelson Mandela Bridge as its resident, so it made sense for me to draw
(Braamfontein) at Joburg Fashion Week on 19 inspiration from such wealth and honour him in my
February 2011. own creative way,” says David Tlale.
In what was probably one of the most anticipated This journey of “Made in the City” collection shall
shows, David Tlale was at the peak of this year’s continue and shall be exhibited in Vienna on the 23
Joburg Fashion Week, as reported by Sandiso June 2011 at Labo Ethnik. Although the scale of the
Ngubane from the Times. “I can tell you that David show will not boast as many as 92 garments, the 30
has done it again. Fashion is a very subjective thing garments will still ensure that an insight into South
but there is one thing that is universally accepted; Africa’s tribal roots and heritage master, Madiba, will
the successful execution of a concept almost always colour the ramp.
equals a successful show. With Tlale I honestly saw
the “Made in the City” theme coming alive in subtle The marriage of fabrics and colour always plays a
hints of African traditional garb”. huge role in a David Tlale collection; therefore this
collection shall be no exception. Tlale will pull out all
the stops and bring life to what he describes as a
typical fusion City African woman.
“At this show, she shall come to life in all shapes,
forms and colours. She is a city woman who walks
the world. Although she may not necessarily live in
the city; she came to the city for business and adores
the bustling and hustling of it all,” adds Tlale.
Tlale infuses hard and soft fabrics, experiments with
colour and draws from tribal influences to materialise
this collection that journey’s through his master piece,
“Made In The City.”
“I can’t really reveal much right now but when you
see the show, it will all make sense and I’m sure
Vienna will appreciate this,” boasts Tlale.
David Tlale is a home grown label that stands out
from the crowds, thanks to a design elegance that
challenges the clichéd and predictable. Couture
that embodies beauty without pretence and shuns
harshness for poise, answering the call of today’s
men and women for design that is young, bold
and elegant. David Tlale is undoubtedly one of
Johannesburg’s most interesting clothing labels.
Dynamic in its response to local and global trends
and influences, David Tlale prioritizes style coupled
with expert use of fabrics. Garments of impeccable
quality are born guaranteed from craftsmanship of
exquisite materials, conceived from meticulous
David Tlale’s commitment to its environment is
mirrored in its vision for business and community
empowerment. The immediate plan is to on local
acclaim to become a top couture house in South
Africa before taking on a (waiting) global market. The
brand has been showcased around the country since
its inception. Growth and maturity in design and
signature, has been the “code of the day” upon each
collection presented. This has been evident on Paris’s
catwalk during the Couture Week in July 2007 as
the brand received great reviews, being nominated
for the TrueLove Fashion Awards in 2007, winning
the Stars of Mzansi Fashion Designer category in
2008 and showcased with the ‘De Beers Shinning
Light Collection’ at Africa Day in Washington DC in
May 2008 through De Beers. The brand continues to
grow in the South African and International Fashion
Industry creating a strong sense of style, individuality,
elegance and signature.
S outh African art, its masters,
and grass roots artists alike
have all been shaped to
some extent by the politics
of social change over the past century. Artistic
practice in much of South Africa has been affected
by official policies of racial segregation, economic
and political migration, and an infinite number of
marginal influences that combine to form the creative
identity of the artist and their choice of subject.
Much township art was destroyed by security forces,
leaving a significant gap in the nation’s cultural
legacy. Louis Khela Maqhubela (1939 - present)
whose paintings are a combination of abstract
figures, symbolism, and genre scenes of everyday
life, continued to exhibit his work during apartheid.
Artistic protest took the global stage at the height of
sanctions and the Acultural boycott.
Apartheid undoubtedly inspired a lot of influential art
in South Africa. The liberating voices of artists did
The exchange of ideas between European colonial much to capture the attitudes and opinions of people
artists and their native black counterparts was not during this time. The cultural value of these works is
just a one-way process. Although missionaries, indisputably priceless.
patrons and educators exposed African artists to
western artistic practices, so too did many white Gerard Sekoto’s works seem to be at the crest of
South African modernists adopt African aesthetic the wave that has propelled contemporary South
elements and collaborate with like minded black African art into the leading edge of the global art
South African artists. This social trend continued market, seeing a 300% rise in recent years.
throughout the early 1900s, until the era of apartheid Sekoto’s self portrait shattered previous world
that began in 1948. auction records for the artist and fetched an
amazing $246,900. Given this current trend the
During apartheid, artistic practice and the subject future looks positive for contemporary South
matter of paintings in South Africa took a radical African art.
shift. African art in general was considered as activist
art, provoking reactionary attitudes in those that Contemporary art emerging from South Africa is
view it. Much of the artwork produced in this era is exciting in its breadth and expression. Any creative
anything but passive in its visual impact or political works to come from a nation with such a unique and
message, its purpose was social change! Although varied history deserve unrestrained attention. The
artists played a prominent role in the resistance depth and variety of works currently being created
movement, politically minded artists such as Michael by established and emerging South African artists
Maapola (1964 - present) were persecuted, and remains impressive.
black artists work was rarely exhibited.
Title: Uphakeme with tambourine
Title: Wish you were here
his is an art exhibition of fifteen South African
contemporary artists. The exhibition explores
layers of contemporary cultural reproductions
and the meanings of such productions in
South Africa. Most artists in this show are based
in Johannesburg, a city that is perceived as an
economic and cultural engine of the whole African
continent. This is evident as the artworks that were
carefully selected by the curator Bongani Mkhonza in
this show were produced from the debris of this city’s
economic and cultural productions. The recycled
debris includes found objects, like plastic bags
and colorful collages of paper and fabrics. In terms
of content, mostly artworks on show are themed
around the concepts of democratization, layers and
collage, co-modification, power and social change
which can also be referred to as social engineering.
In this exhibition, visitors will be enticed to
view unique and original works by leading
contemporary South African Artists like Mary
Sibande; Mbongeni Buthelezi; Sam Nhlengethwa;
and Lawrence Lemaoana.
Theresa-Anne Mackintosh Title: The Minister of Defense
This exhibition is an initiative by Makhaya Arts and The talks will address questions surrounding the
Cultural Development. Makhaya is a leader in arts dynamism of cultural reconstruction in the articulation
and cultural development between South Africa of contemporary cultures and the unfolding of
and countries around Eastern Europe. Makhaya’s histories, in the context of both South African
contributions to contemporary artistic practice and contemporary culture that is under reconstruction
cultural development can be traced over the last few and that of Austria. Talks will be an attempt to find
years. For this exhibition, selected artworks go into a connectedness in discourse because of the complex
unique exhibition including video recordings of artists histories between these two countries. These talks
themselves. Influential talks by artists and cultural will be examining the processes that inform both
theorists such as Lawrence Lemaoana and Bongani of these countries’ cultural productions and their
Mkhonza will be conducted around the exhibition. perception, both in Europe and Africa.
Schedule for Meeting Point
23rd – 26th June
22nd – 25th September
2012 (Venue and dates
to be announced)
Title: The boy 36 37
With its rich and diverse roots, South
Africa boasts a colourful array of arts
and culture that includes, among other
things, craft, dance, literature, music,
architecture, theatre and visual arts.
This unique heritage plays a significant
role in social regeneration, unity
The craft industry has been identified
as a strategic sector for the economic
upliftment of South Africans. The
crafts industry is estimated to employ
1.2 million people and contribute a
whopping R3.4-billion to the economy
every year. Funds generated from crafts
are often the sole source of income for
poor, usually illiterate, people to gain
access into the formal economy.
Throughout the world creative industries
possess a natural economic potential
and an implicit capacity to foster cultural
diversity in the global market. In the
transition towards modern knowledge-
based economies, creative industries
have become increasingly important
components of national economies and
In the contemporary economic
landscape of the ‘creative economy’,
creativity and culture are the essential
raw materials of the production cycle
just as coal and steel have been since
the industrial revolution. In the realm
of the creative economy artistic
producers are generators of economic
and cultural value. In developing
countries the creative economy provides
important sources of work, education
Creativity is the key factor driving
development. Across the world,
enterprises based on individual
creativity are booming, and are having
a dramatic impact on global culture and
or centuries South Africa’s people have been - giving themselves time to raise their children, banana tress) and Imizi (a water grass). Ilala palm material is soaked in the dye bath. Common colours
famous for the sturdy and beautiful baskets work in the fields, collect water and do other daily fronds are collected, pulled into strips, naturally and their source: Brown/Black (isizimane) - Roots of
they weave from grasses and palm leaf. The chores. Each basket will be unique in size, shape, dyed and then hung to dry as the traditional women tree and or palm fronds crushed and boiled for up to
weaving was so tight that the best ‘ukhamba’ pattern,weave and colour and is a true collector’s prepare their other materials for basket-weaving. The 7 days. Golden Brown & Pink/Lilac (mpheghmbetu) -
baskets were actually used to store beer! Using item. All basket colours are natural and obtained palm fronds have a waxy coating which makes them Leaves of a small bush. Coral (mgweyna) - Aloe root.
a variety of wild grasses many products such as from boiling roots, leaves, berries and bark or other ideal for the weaving of watertight baskets. Purple/Blue (umdoni) - Skin of ripe Umdoni berries or
baskets, bowls, hats and mats have been developed organic material of indigenous flora. the root of certain plants including the indigo plant.
extending now to more modern items such as All the colours used in traditional baskets are natural Burgundy/Maroon (isfixu) - Bark of Marula tree or
lampshades. A variety of sustainably harvested plant materials dyes, derived from organic sources. Different regions wild berries only available for a short time each year
are used to create different types of baskets. These and weavers use different colours and even different (rarest color). Orange (xomisane) - Roots of small
The women work from their homes, where they can include: Ilala (prounounced EYE-LA-LA) palm fronds, colour sources. The individual colour’s intensity and hairy leafed plant. Mustard Yellow (icena) - Paste of
assimilate basket making into their normal routine Isikonko (a grass), Noebe (the bark of the wild saturation depends on the length of time the raw wood-ash and water, soaked overnight, boiled for
5-7 hours. Bright Yellow - Saffron (very expensive and The South African craftspeople favor symmetry,
rare). Grey (ijuba) - Soaked in black mud for up to precision and organisation in the designs of their
one week. Khaki Green (mxuba) - Fresh cow dung, baskets — the qualities that seem to appear in
soaked in water overnight and boiled with palm their social patterns. Each design has a specific
leaves for 4-5 hours. The green colour is clearer in meaning: Triangle - A masculine symbol, also
the spring due to the diet of the cows. represented on wedding baskets as the number
of steers/cows paid for a bride price payment.
A variety of stitches are used depending on the type Diamond - A feminine symbol. Double Triangle -
of basket being produced. The most common is the Marriage, man. Double Diamond - Marriage, woman.
figure-eight stitch. Today large needles are used, with Zig-Zag - Masculine, represents the spear of Shaka.
each stitch being painstakingly placed, making sure Series of Diamonds - Feminine, represents the
that the free-hand design will line up properly and not shields of Shaka. Checkerboards, Whirls or Circles -
be “squished” or distorted. A good master weaver’s Good news, new baby, good rains,
watertight basket can contain 180 to 300 stitches plentiful harvest. Points Around the Outside -
per square inch of a basket. Baskets can take weeks Shows the number of cattle paid as bridewealth for
or months to finish. a wedding.
eramics and pottery is one of the oldest In most cases, pottery has been made by women.
trade commodities of Africa. Traditionally clay Clay is worked on entirely by hand and shaped and
pots have for centuries been produced to fashioned into the desired shape. In other cases, the
cool and store water, carry water, make beer women would pour the clay into a mould made of
and or cook food. pottery, wood or a calabash. After drying the clay, the
pots are put in a pile and covered with wood, bark or
This is the most traditional African ornament you can dried cow dung and baked outdoors in an open fire.
own. Used throughout African countries, the clay pot Although many still use fires to bake and harden the
is called “inkamba” in Zulu and clay is “ibumba” . clay, kilns are now also used.
The making of clay pots is one of the most respected After baking, the pots are decorated. Polishing pots
crafts that has stood the test of time. was and still is common practice among the various
African tribes. African pottery from the central part of
The making of pottery in Africa began around the the region usually have a deep and lustrous finish is
7th millennium BC and continues to this day in the achieved by the firing process.
various regions of the continent.
African Pot Collection
In other areas of Africa, plant dyes are used for and region. Usually one can distinguish two
colouring and are randomly splashed on after the styles of decoration: incised decoration and
firing process. raised decoration.
African women are generally the ones involved in Traditionally, three sizes were most common: the
making clay pots and are responsible for passing large Imbiza pot was used for brewing, the Ukhamba
the skills on to future generations. Most Zulu pots pot used for serving and the Umancishana pot size
are blackened after the firing, this is largely for for cooking meat, storing water and grain and for
ritualistic purposes as the ancestors hide in dark, drinking sour milk.
shady places. In time, through daily use, the
pots develop the warm, brown, glossy patina As in the case with baskets, pots have moved
characteristic of Zulu pots. The patterns and from mainstream usage, to the high-end world of
decoration on the pots vary according to family handcrafted collectibles.
S In 1962, Nelson Mandela
`ince ancient times, African peoples have The colourful seed beads, in particular, gave rise In 1962, Nelson Mandela wore Xhosa beads at
cherished beads and appreciated their to many fine beadworking traditions. For example, his sentencing in the Johannesburg courthouse.
wore Xhosa beads
beauty. Made of various materials, beads are Ndebele women in South Africa began to create An attorney, Mandela usually dressed for court in
small, perforated, and often rounded objects intricate beadwork in the nineteenth century. The impeccably tailored business suits. On this occasion
at his sentencing in
found throughout the world. Glass beads, in particular, techniques of African beadwork vary. Beads may be he chose to send a powerful signal. By wearing the
are a common element of African adornment and are strung on fiber cord or metal wire to create bracelets beaded clothing of his tribe, Mandela broadcast an
widely used in African clothing and regalia. and necklaces. Beads may be stitched to a backing implicit message of defiance: a warning to those who
of fiber, canvas, or leather as among the Ndebele. would crush African culture and its expression. Thirty-
There are two types of beadwork specialists. The vibrant colors and complex designs of the bead two years later, Mandela would take office as the first
Beadmakers produce beads from various materials.
Beadworkers are artists who create jewellery,
courthouse. embroidery become an essential part of the sculpture. black president of South Africa.
garments, and regalia from beads that are made
locally or are imported from Europe, the Near East,
and India. Artists must carefully consider the materials,
colors, textures, shapes, and sizes of the beads to
choose those that complement or contrast with
Beads have played an important role in the personal
lives of Africans and in the court life of African
kingdoms. They have been valued as currency and as
an artistic medium. The materials beadworkers have
used in their artworks have varied over time. They
include shells, stone, clay, metal, and glass.
The earliest examples of locally manufactured African
beads are disk-shaped beads made from ostrich
eggshells; these date to around 10,000 B.C. and have
been recovered from archaeological sites in Libya and
Sudan (Dubin 1987,122). Beadwork has often been
enhanced and complemented with cowrie shells.
These beadlike, brilliantly white shells have also served
as a popular currency and a source of embellishment.
Arab, and later European, traders imported cowrie
shells from the Indian Ocean. These shells have been
widely traded throughout Africa.
Clay was also used to make beads. Another material
for beads has been locally obtained and worked
metal. Tin beads in the shape of cowne shells have
been found. Glass, originally in the form of imported
beads or bottles, is another important raw material in
African beadmaking. The beadmakers either ground
up or broke the glass, melted it, and produced new
beads. At Ife, Nigeria, the spiritual home of the Yoruba
peoples, a major glass bead industry developed by
the ninth century A.D. Glass for this industry was
obtained in large quantities from medieval Europe
and the Near East. A bead industry also existed in
Mapungubwe, South Africa, from A.D. 600 to 1200.
Along the coast of eastern and southern Africa, small,
opaque glass beads from India have been discovered
in sites dated to A.D. 200. Since the fifteenth century,
Europeans have brought to Africa millions of glass
beads from Italy, Bohemia (now part of the Czech
Republic), and The Netherlands. European companies
specialized in the bead trade to Africa and offered
many styles of beads.
Art is an
renowned ceramic studio, based in the Midlands
of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. These unique
and vibrant artworks have become an acclaimed
representative of South African art: at an auction in
London dedicated to Ardmore, Christie’s defined the
ceramics as “a modern day collectable”.
Ardmore provides tools, materials and facilities
as well as training and guidance to local artists to
create these amazing works. They are encouraged
to pursue their own styles and mediums and through
this approach, great diversity exists amongst the
Ardmore pieces. From the sculptors (who mould and
shape the clay into brilliant shapes, figures and forms)
to the painters (who paint a variety of animals and
decorative designs), the artists create ceramic art
that is incredibly energetic and exquisitely detailed.
Ardmore was founded in 1985 when artist Fée
Halsted started teaching her first student, Bonnie
Ntshalintshali, on the Ardmore farm in the foothills of
the Drakensberg. Five years later, in 1990, Bonnie
and Fée jointly won the prestigious Standard Bank
Young Artist Award and their work went on to be
exhibited at the Venice Biennale. The Ardmore studio,
which Fée moved a few years ago to its current
location, now consists of over 50 artists whose work
has been sold at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams
in London and to collectors and galleries around
In addition to its role of mentor to the artists,
Ardmore runs The Ardmore Excellence Fund, which
receives a percentage of sales of the art. This money
provides education (especially with regard to HIV/
Aids-awareness) and healthcare to the artists and
“My memories of Kaross
will be on the joy I had
aross is an embroidery initiative started in
when I have expressed
1989 with a few (five) Shangaan embroiders myself through my
cultural skills to bring the
and Irma van Rooyen, a visual artist, as
creative director and founder. Sitting on a
Kaross (blanket) the ladies started creating works of
art own to themselves and their cultural background. Shangaan people out of
The objective was to create pieces of excellent
quality, and a fresh approach to handwork. Over
the grey part of life into
the past 21 years Kaross became the voice of 1000 clear lime light.”
VaTsonga/Shangaan people and their communities
in the Letsitele/Giyani area of the Limpopo Province. Madonna Sabela
Kaross is re-applying a culture by exploring its
heritage and producing contemporary, marketable www.kaross.co.za
products and artworks.
The Kaross incentive is to create jobs and
opportunities for mainly, rural woman to make a
living by being creative within the realm of their own
tradition background. The job-creation aspect of
the project remains a driving force and is key to all
developmental and business decisions in Kaross. A
strengthened cultural awareness followed and formed
the basis of many Shangaan people’s perception of
themselves within the context of South Africa and the
rest of the world. This awareness of being yourself
within a more global environment is an important
concept in terms of sustainable development.
There exists a need for woman in the rural areas of
South Africa to acknowledge and explore their own
capacity to take part in making a difference in their
communities and South Africa as a whole.
Kaross creates tableware, homeware, artpieces,
wallhangings, handbags and bedlinen, every stich
100% hand done. Kaross became a sought after
South African gift over the past 19 years, due to the
excellent quality and signature design.
“I’m lucky compared to the thousands without jobs.
So I can earn something end of each month, to do
something for my family. Now I’m a real responsible
mother because of Kaross. I feel very super proud
and special to be Shangaan.” Madonna Tirhani
“I will remember so many things - Kaross brings
happiness to my life” Winnie Soyaphi Sabela
“I started working at Kaross on the 1st of February
2002. Kaross means a lot to me, because I have
learned many different things about the Shangaan
people. Kaross brought all the hidden things out so
that everybody can see it.” Mmakoma Thandi Maset.
uring the past 50 years the African Art and public exposure the Centre moved into nurturing
Centre has provided thousands of artists and training individuals and groups whether in
and craftspeople with opportunities for townships or remote rural areas.
self-employment and the realization of their
talents. Originally a project of the South African Throughout the year development workshops are
Institute of Race Relations, the Durban African Art run in disadvantaged and remote communities
Centre has, since 1984, operated as an autonomous, to develop the skills (beading, telephone wire,
non-profit organisation. For the first three decades embroidery etc) of crafters and assist in the
of its existence, it was guided by the late Jo Thorpe, production of new, innovative products with designs
who virtually single-handed, put Durban on the map appealing to the market.
as an important centre of black artistic development.
The shop in the Centre has been the foundation
Today operating from premises in Florida Road, of the support and development of the artists and
Durban the African Art Centre has adapted to the crafters. Funding accessed from various funders
changed political, economic and artistic landscape over the years has provided the opportunity for
and expanded its operations. It is proud to be outreach and the ability to mount special exhibitions.
recognised as the longest surviving South African
organisation involved in the development and www.afriart.org.za
promotion of black artists and craft-workers.
The number of artists and crafters ‘discovered’ has
increased exponentially over the fifty years as have
the returns they have realized through their talents.
Development and training programs have grown
in number and scope and reached ever widening
groups of individuals and communities, both in
the geographical and sociological sense. Many
African Art Centre artists have achieved international
acclaim – Azaria Mbatha, Tito Zungu, and Reuben
Ndwandwe – but thousands have had their lives
dramatically improved through the recognition of
The African Art Centre reaches out to the
poorest communities, rural women, the disabled,
unemployed, youth, HIV/AIDS affected persons,
frustrated artists craving recognition and
development and has made a huge differences to
their quality of life. Starting with providing an outlet
Rebtex is based in Seshego a rural community of Polokwane in the
Limpopo province 350 kilometers north of Johannesburg. Limpopo is
the poorest state in South Africa and unemployment runs in the high
percentages. The production of sisal fibre and the upstream processing
of sisal spinning and weaving offered at Rebtex are critical to factors in
impopo Ceramics specialise in African joined as co-owner of the business who will attend to employment creation in the area.
inspired, high quality baked and glazed all aspects of the administration so that Lydia can
ceramic products that are handmade, hand concentrate on the creative side of the production. Rebtex has been spinning and weaving sisal and other bask fibres since
painted and decorated with beads. the late 1970’s and as a result has developed a reputation for quality in
Limpopo Ceramics has created much needed job products and service. While the initial products were limited to Sisal twines
Lydia Dercksen started the business in 2002 and it opportunities in a poor community and provides for the grass roofing, packaging, agricultural and mining industries and
has since grown to a prominent industry in a rural ongoing service training to its workers in a variety of weaving abrasive cloth for the metal polishing industry production has
community which provides employment to an specialised trades, arts and skills found in a factory of expanded to all carpets produced from plant fibres inclusive of a rapidly
average of 30 people. Judy Barnard has recently its kind. About 70% of the workers are members of the developing bespoke and standard rugs of a variety of colours and weaves.
historically disadvantaged community. Due to the benefit of total in house production from spinning, dyeing and
weaving Rebtex is in a position to develop bespoke products to customer
Social upliftment and involvement remains a priority of requirements as was the Sisal Bordeaux carpet made to match the famous
the business. Bordeaux wine colour in France for a major French customer.
Their handmade ceramics are exclusive and upmarket, The innovation spirit remains a high priority and Rebtex carries the
painted in a variety of original African designs and credit for the unique Rebtex fibregard treatment process where every
uniquely decorated with beads. The high quality fibre is protected against spills prior to the yarn being spun. This builds
ceramic items are made to be used as dinner ware spill resistance throughout the carpet ensuring the beauty of the sisal
but certain items are more suited as ornaments. Our carpets last.
product range includes dinner sets, platters, bread
plates, fruit bowls, serving bowls, coffee mugs, vases The latest innovation, is the first natural fibre floor tile, on a base of
and other ornaments. crumbed recycled car tyres offering a comfort and appearance not
previously possible in floor tiles. This innovation combined with the Rebtex
Limpopo Ceramics’ products are sold by galleries Fibregard protection has taken Rebtex products into a variety of industrial,
and shops in South Africa, England, United States of commercial and hospitality locations from banks and factories to hotels.
America, Australia, Switzerland, France, DRC, Namibia, Rebtex products are exported to United Kingdom, France, Germany,
Kenya, Ivory Coast, Botswana and Mozambique. Australia, India, Mauritius and Africa.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rebtexrsa.com
H IGH THORN makes an exclusive range
of hand-crafted products from our breath taking
twig chandeliers to beautiful pots which are covered
Each product is hand-made by a group of men and
women in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South
Africa. The employees at High Thorn are encouraged
to take responsibility for each order that is allocated
with leather and finished by hand with expressed to them. The beadwork is done by a team of
cross-stitching. previously disadvantaged women who are usually
the sole providers for their families. The organisation
The products are often inspired by traditional is structured in such a way that the ladies work for
African designs and adapted to suit a contemporary themselves. It is headed by an extremely talented
style. High Thorn pride themselves on originality woman who gets satisfaction out of helping people
and uniqueness. learn to be self-sufficient.
generations to participate in ancient traditional
hand crafts, but adorn people and homes around
the world with an introduction to the adventure,
stories and myths of Africa. Every culture and design
oya Afrika present a diverse range of celebrates both an ancestral identity and unique
lifestyle products encompassing ‘The Excellence of communication methodology.
Africa’. From unique collections of furniture, decor
and interior accessories to exclusive art, jewellery, Moya Afrika involves itself in design and re-
fashion, wine and hand crafts the Moya Afrika brand engineering the use of craft, re-presenting and
is synonymous with African authenticity and quality, a shifting cultural crafts into the modern world. Moya
class desirable to the elite, rich and famous – when it Afrika identifies top designers and projects with
comes to Africa. similar ideals and goals, collaborates and then very
actively creates and pursues markets, making a wide
The Moya Afrika vision is to keep traditional ancient range of products available to consumers. There are
African cultures alive by blending the hand crafts many groups in Africa that excel in similar genres
and designs into contemporary furniture and decor while simultaneously empowering many thousands of
items for the home, leisure establishments and the crafters through sustainable development.
office. The success of these products on global As in any ethnic craft continuing tradition requires
markets simultaneously achieves multiple objectives that materials evolve with time; grass weaving has
in preserving African culture while adorning the globe been replaced with wire, beads change in material
with ethnic African style. and colour, ceramicist processes and glazes
have progressed, textiles have changed. Moya
In Vienna, Moya Afrika releases its 2011 South Afrika encourages this continuous exploration and
African range. The identity of this range of decor and adaptation, in many ways leading cultural design into
furnishings draws its inspiration from the nine primary the future.
South African cultures, using beadwork, textiles and
colours of these traditional cultures. When working In making products accessible, the Moya Afrika
with cultural designs Moya Afrika respects culture strategy includes the rapid establishment of outlets
by continuing the designs authentically. Mannequins in key global cities supported by leading edge
in traditional cultural dress and adornment are on websites. The immediate target regions are Europe,
display demonstrating the design source represented Russia and China where Moya Afrika is to present at
in the now contemporary decor. leading exhibitions and stores. Based in South Africa,
Moya Afrika continues to build its exclusive supply
In preserving African cultural design and colour in base, maintaining product design and development
its lifestyle products, Moya Afrika not only keeps projects, quality controls and the logistics required in
the African cultures alive encouraging younger delivery of exclusive African products to clients.
When you travel
into South Africa’s
from the mountains of Cape Town to the polo fields of
winelands, expect to We begin this journey at Wine Central, the Town
discover far more than
of Oaks: Stellenbosch. There are more than half a
dozen wine routes, but they all seem to run through
a cheeky Pinotage in
Stellenbosch at some stage. Founded in 1679,
Stellenbosch was the first South African town to be
established after Cape Town.
Leaving the elegant Cape Dutch homes and leafy
streets of Stellenbosch, we head out for Spier Estate,
Text and Photographs by Chris Marais a wine spread with a difference. Their fruity wines
constantly win awards. The Spier Village Hotel, built
in the traditional Cape Malay style, is winelands
accommodation at its most elegant, and the nearby
he days are gone when all a wine Moyo Restaurant brings the essence of Africa to the
estate offered the thirsty traveller was green estate meadows.
a tasting in the cellar, a ploughman’s
lunch in the kitchen and a stroll Here you can meet cheetahs, have decadent picnics
through the vineyards. on the lawns and learn about the wine from the
masters. Their ‘barrel thief’ wine-tasting sessions are
South Africa’s winelands – in the Western Cape highly popular.
province – have been transformed into overland
adventures that can keep you seriously occupied for Spier also prides itself on its environmental standards.
a week or more. The grape still tops the bill, but the The winery is self-sufficient, waste is recycled and
support cast includes live entertainment, excellent all farming is organic. This estate was the first one in
food, conservation projects, handicrafts and five-star South Africa to be accredited by the Wine Industry
hospitality. And then, of course, there is the majestic Ethical Trade Association. Its tourism operation was
Southern Right Whale – a marketing blessing for also one of the first to be certified by the Fair Trade in
the wine makers of the Garden Route, stretching Tourism brand.
each year, from June to early December. You can’t South African winters are best for shark-diving
walk for a block in the town without bumping into because of water clarity, and because the sharks are
some kind of whale logo. And out on the rocks more active. In mid-year, they concentrate around
overlooking the sea, flocks of visitors and locals gaze Shark Alley, conveniently located between the seal-
out for hours in a whale-trance, hoping for the sight encrusted Geyser Rock and Dyer Island, where the
of a fluke or a waterspout. odd African Penguin is also a lunchtime possibility.
More people come to South Africa to watch whales Our lunchtime, however, is spent over at Bientang’s
than to visit the iconic, legendary Kruger National Cave, feasting on wild or cultivated oysters kept fresh
Park with its celebrated Big Five. in the tidal pool just below the restaurant. From here
you can watch the whales loll, mate, give birth, lobtail
Southern Rights were pushed to the brink of (show their tails), spyhop (poke their heads above
extinction in the first half of the 20th Century. While water) and, most joyous of all, breach right out of
their cousins, the Northern Rights, have remained the sea.
on the brink, Southern Right populations are pulling
back, growing at their fastest biological rate of 7,5% The legendary Bientang was a Khoi San Strandloper
a year. (beach walker) who lived in the cave 200 years
ago and was reputed to have mystical powers that
There are more Southern
stretched to communicating with whales. That job is
done these days by one Pasika Noboba, who is the
Rights off the African coast only official Whale Crier in the world. Wilson walks
along the cliffs being photographed by tourists and
now than at any time in the when he spots whales he lifts his kelp horn and calls
the faithful. Who seem to respond, in their millions,
last 150 years. from all over the world…
But if you want to get up close and personal with For more information:
In similar vein, near Stellenbosch in the Elgin Valley lies simple yet brilliant exercise initiated by Anthony Stellenbosch Wine Route www.wineroute.co.za
the whales (including seals, humpback dolphins,
Thandi, which makes Fairtrade-certified wine. Thandi Hamilton-Russell, once described by a writer from Stellenbosch Tourism
giant petrels and great white sharks), one of the best
is the result of a relationship between the nearby the Philadelphia Inquirer as “a tweedy, cigar-smoking www.stellenboschtourism.co.za
ways to do it is via Dyer Island Cruises that operates
Paul Cluver Estate, the SA Government, the local embodiment of South Africa’s Anglophile gentry”. Thandi Wine Estate www.thandi.co.za or
near Hermanus from the village of Kleinbaai. And if
community and private enterprise. The fruit- and wine www.thandi.com
it’s not whale season, take their shark boat, Marine
estate is owned and run by members of the His exacting standards are backed by an ecological Spier Wine Estate www.spier.co.za
Dynamics. You can don a wetsuit and climb into
Elgin community. approach to winemaking. Here ladybugs are a Hamilton Russell www.hamiltonrussellvineyards.com
submerged cages for brief eyeballing sessions with
treasured part of the workforce. Dyer Island Cruises www.dyer-island-cruises.co.za
the very toothsome sharks that live in the area. Or
The profits and Fairtrade premiums are ploughed back Hermanus Tourism www.hermanus.co.za
you can just watch them from the deck. Even though
into the people of this region – specifically into crèches The prison release of Nelson Mandela and the Bientang’s Cave www.bientangscave.com
they grab the baitsnacks dragging from the boats,
for the youngsters and for adult basic education. democratic South African elections of 1994 basically
sharks tend to have their main meals over at Dyer
unshackled the SA wine industry. Wine is an
Island – seal is always on the menu.
Local community members are being mentored in the emotional subject. During the Apartheid era, South
art of winemaking and there is steady work on skills Africa struggled to offload a million cases of its wines
transfer. The wines have won several awards, but the each year. Once the post-’94 floodgates opened,
warmest feeling comes from the knowledge that the more than ten million cases were exported annually.
brand uplifts disadvantaged people.
Back in the 1830s, a wandering farmhand and
But as general manager Vernon Henn says: “Although sometime-teacher called Hermanus Pieters
we are able to empower people through the wine wandered through the Heaven and Earth Valley
sales, Thandi is firstly about quality.” and, more than likely, came to the top of the ridge
(now part of the Hamilton Russell estate) overlooking
Nearby is the Hamilton Russell wine estate, probably this magnificent bay. It looked good enough to graze
one of the best known of South Africa’s top offerings, his sheep on. Old Hermanus moved in and started a
especially overseas. The Wine Spectator once coastal craze – some would call it a Whale
accorded it the highest score ever given to a South Rush - which still continues today, nearly two
African white wine. centuries later.
Hamilton-Russell Estate lies in the Heaven and People just can’t get enough of the town of
Earth Valley outside Whale Central, Hermanus. Its Hermanus, and its most famous residents, the
sister estate carries the Southern Right brand, a Southern Right Whales that come to Walker Bay
outh Africa is a very fascinating with head gear, caps in different tweeds, tartan tam- desert dunes and crystal streams, incredible wild life others are able and good,
country because of its myriad cultures
and subcultures – there are no one
o’-shanters, small trilbys with chained bands and
larger fedora-type hats with fake tiger-skin bands.
and bustling cities, cellphones and drum beats.
for he or she has a proper
size fits all customs but people live These are English gentleman’s clothes. With eleven official languages and several ethnic and self-assurance that comes
harmoniously because of the overarching spirit
of ubuntu. South Africa has endured shuddering upheavals from
cultural groups South Africa is truly the
rainbow nation. from knowing that he or she
tribal and colonial warfare to the suffering caused by belongs in a greater whole
South Africa is a developing country and
is largely influenced by the western world.
apartheid. South Africa’s first democratic elections
were in 1994. The spirit of ubuntu – “I am because
Facts and Statistics
Location: Southern most tip of Africa, bordering and is diminished when others
However, culture has always been in the you are”- a humanist philosophy focusing on people’s Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, are humiliated or diminished,
centre of everything. For an example Xhosa
men of the Eastern Cape province practice a
allegiances and relations with each other gave birth
Capital: Pretoria when others are tortured or
sacred rite of passage without which they are Climate: mostly semiarid; subtropical along east oppressed.”
not considered to have reached adulthood. The country is considered as a gateway to Africa’s coast; sunny days, cool nights
The initiation custom involves a period of economy with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Population: 42,718,530
seclusion, a range of food taboos, a rigorous being the link between international markets and the A definition of ubuntu offered by Archbishop
education process and a circumcision ritual.
After the seclusion period the young man
continent boasting an average of 334 million shares
“A person with ubuntu is Desmond Tutu.
returns to his community for a celebratory open and available to others,
feast. The new man is required to follow a
strict dress code after initiation for a period of
South Africa is extremely diverse offering traditional
customs and modern ways, sky scrapers and wide
affirming of others, does
six months. They are adorned in plaid jackets open spaces, sandy beaches and mountain air, not feel threatened that
Makhaya developed Africa Village, a diverse and
vibrant event, originally targeting Eastern Europe
and Russia, as these are emerging markets with
little knowledge and awareness of South Africa.
Selecting and combining the best of both traditional
and contemporary talent in the various arts and crafts
provides an extremely powerful presentation
of South Africa, as well as creating a platform for
Having initiated its first project in Eastern Europe
ased in Johannesburg, in 2008, Makhaya has continued through 2009,
South Africa, Makhaya Art 2010 and 2011 to grow from strength to strength.
& Cultural Development is a The impact of these events is felt far beyond the
South African Section 21 non-profit company. immediate audiences, cities and countries to officials,
business and governments in neighbouring and
Makhaya recognises and celebrates the great distant locations.
wealth of South African culture and heritage through
art, dance, design, crafts and people. That love, With a permanent office in Belgrade, Serbia, Eastern
patience and tolerance have prevailed in the midst Europe and a dedicated and growing project team
of deep struggle, is a valuable lesson to share with spanning the two continents, Makhaya now plans to
the world. expand its activity with a series of cultural interaction
programs drawn from a new generation of talent
This message is best presented through an arts within the youth sector. Growth and opportunities
and cultural medium that accommodates diverse from linking South Africa with others through arts and
ambassadors and messengers, naturally suited to culture are, from Makhaya’s perspective, limitless.
presenting South Africa with colour, energy and
pride. Makhaya has built the South African brand We look forward to the future and thank everyone for
around the unique inherent elements of culture. their past and continued support.
Makhaya have adopted the stance that Africa has
much to offer the world, rather than much to take.
We celebrate our uniqueness and hold our
cultural traditions and art high, as a banner for all that
we are African and in South Africa. www.africavillage.eu
Visibility is the first step, from where we can then
deliver a variety of messages. It is well known that email@example.com
many of our people need channels to express and
show their ability. It is less known that many of our Belgrade, Serbia
people have immense ability, and an even greater Office Tel: +381 11 369 45 26
desire to share their talents with the world. Djordje Mobile: +381 62 124 0074
Makhaya’s objective is to create these channels,
enabling South Africans to not only show their talents Johannesburg, South Africa
in distant countries, but to place South Africa in the Office Tel: +27 (0) 87 941 3847
consciousness of those it touches. Peter Mobile: +27 (0)73 167 7136
76 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 77
Thank you for
the support of South
Africa National Lottery