Mpophomeni Township celebrated the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela, along with the 20th anniversary of Masibumbane HIV and Aids Mission, learning about art at a fortnight-long workshop. A special aim of the workshop was to produce 100 paintings of Madiba for an exhibition at the end of the workshop.

The event, which started on 30 June and ended this past weekend, was held at Mpophomeni Museum, with special international guest artists Ole Lislerub and Marian Heyerdahl of the Oslo National Academy of The Arts in Norway.

Using one of Nelson Mandela’s quotes, “It’s in your hands to make the world a better place”, as a theme, all 100 paintings were done by children aged from 10, many with no experience in painting or drawing.

During the workshop, children and adults learnt various aspects of painting and drawing as well as how to work with clay. Locals from Mpophomeni attended in their numbers to advance their skills. “We had to chase people away, because there were so many, but we still see them inside, which showed their enthusiasm,” said organiser David Hall.

Grade 11 pupil Nondumiso Dladla (15) said it was her first attempt at painting but she had always been interested in drawing. “My father told me about this workshop and I didn’t hesitate to attend,” she said. “These two weeks have really encouraged me to study art after matric, just like my sister.” She added that she had learnt a huge amount at the workshop.

Frank Mchunu of the Zulu Mpophomeni Tourist Experience said it was a great opportunity for the local people as it would benefit them with skills.
“This gives us all inspiration to work on our skills,” he said. “We will continue what they’ve started and have more of these workshops for locals.”
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