Department of Arts and Culture partnership grows Innibos National Craft Awards prize money to R165 000

The Innibos National Craft Awards is now bigger and better, following the National Department of Arts and Culture’s (DAC) support, which has seen four additional exciting new categories being created.

The competition, which seeks to recognise excellence in South Africa’s craft sector, is in its fourth year, with entries closing at midnight on May 1, 2020. Run under the auspices of the Innibos National Arts Festival and organised by ArtAid Africa, it is fast becoming known for the quality of its entries and calibre of its judges.

The growth of these awards from the inaugural edition back in 2017 is a testimony to the need for a national platform to showcase South African creativity and talent. The department’s support will therefore contribute to the evolution of the competition and awards, through the addition of the new categories that will showcase how craft can contribute to economic development and job creation. The new categories are Corporate Gifts, Beaded Craft Products, Craft Produced Using Recycled Materials and Souvenirs.

The Department’s October 2018 Craft Strategy Dialogue recommended that a strategic partnership with the Innibos National Craft Awards be looked into, with the aim of using the awards as a catalyst to encourage and stimulate creativity and innovation in the craft sector.

It was also proposed that a Lifetime Achievement Award be made by the department at the annual awards ceremony. The first such award was given posthumously to the late Simon Masilo at last year’s awards evening and this year, the award will go to a living legend, none other than Dr Esther Mahlangu, the world-renowned Ndebele artist.

Sandra Jacobs, co-founder of the Innibos National Arts Festival, says she is honoured to welcome the department on board, given that the values of both DAC and Innibos – that of promoting all art forms – are so closely aligned.

About the Innibos National Craft Awards

Launched in 2017, the competition attracted over 1 200 entries in 2019, up by over 400 entries from the inaugural competition.

The organisers want the competition to be as inclusive as possible. Thus, entry is free and the entry process is simple – requiring only that a photo of the craft item be submitted, along with the entrant’s details.

The overall winner walks away with R50 000, the first runner-up with R20 000 and the second runner-up with R15 000, while the winners of the new categories each win R20 000.

Craftsmen are invited to submit entries in the following disciplines: grass-weaving, ceramics, beadwork, wirework, wood, jewellery, paper, fabric painting and printing, quilting, leatherwork, pewter, glasswork, embroidery and mixed media. They may also mark their entries for consideration in the Corporate Gifts, Beaded Craft Products, Craft Produced Using Recycled Materials and Souvenirs categories.

Sixty entries will be shortlisted and put forward for final judging and the winners will be announced at the National Innibos Craft Awards Exhibition and Prize-giving on Sunday, June 21, 2020, at which the shortlisted entries will be displayed.

The exhibition will remain open to members of the public for the duration of the annual Innibos National Arts Festival, which attracts over 100 000 visitors each year.

Entering is easy!

Crafters have until midnight on May 1, 2020, to enter. They need simply take a photo of their entry – next to a matchbox for size of scale, and either email it to or send it to 071 621 3597 via MMS or WhatsApp. There is no entry fee.

Ts&Cs apply and can be found on the competition’s Facebook page –

Remember to include your name, the town in which you live and your contact details.

Entrants who have not heard from the organisers within 30 days of the closing date must take it as given that they did not make the shortlist for final judging.

The finalists should be available to attend the exhibition opening and prizegiving on June 21, 2020.

For more information, please WhatsApp Jan Bhuda on 071 621 3597 or email John Anthony Boerma at

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