Wednesday, November 30, 2011

World AIDS Day: Break the Silence

by Njabulo Ngobese

We are facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the history of mankind, climate change. With COP 17 well underway in Durban South Africa, AFH proudly supports this initiative with hopes that solutions can be reached for the em-betterment of our lively hood. Another issue of concern that has been a highly destructive force in the global community is the HIV/AIDS epidemic. December 1st marks World AIDS day in its calender as the fight against this disease continues.

AFH (Art for Humanity) initiated the Break the Silence HIV/AIDS portfolio in 2000 with the purpose of instilling a greater sense of social responsibility towards the pandemic and to those who are infected and affected by the disease. Jan Jordaan (AFH Director) in collaboration with Vedant Nanackchand and Dr. Nigel Rollins were responsible for designing the project which has had contributions from 31 artists across the globe (21 from South Africa & 10 internationally). These artists have contributed original fine art prints to the HIV/AIDS initiative.

Art for Humanity encourages the global community to participate in the fight against HIV/AIDS. For more information on the AFH Break the Silence portfolio please follow the link

Monday, November 21, 2011

Enough to Eat Exhibition

AFH will proudly give a report back on this exciting event taking place tomorrow. For more information please visit the following link:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Art & Social Justice School Workshops: Sthokozile High

By Njabulo Ngobese

The last and final stop for the Art and Social Justice Workshops was the Clermont based high school Sthokozile which came highly prepared and excited about the AFH initiative packing an overwhelming 50 students. With the absence of Art for Humanity’s director Jan Jordaan and Human Rights Commission representative Eugene Raphalane, Lungile Dlamini was the head lady in charge as she wasted no time introducing her colleagues to the eager young minds of Sthokozile High. An additional introduction by the school principal as well as his warm welcome gave us the go ahead to proceed with the day’s activities.

A trip to the AFH banner which was located at the school’s wall outdoors, presented the first task for the students. Topaz asked the kids to analyse the art and read the poem on the banner simultaneously. After the completion of the task, the pupils headed back to the classroom where they began engaging in their creative process. Drawing a picture accompanied by a poem that represents the image, Sthokozile’s highly dedicated pupils wasted no time in living out their passion. Wendy Mthembu, Siyanda Ngcobo, Sanele Vezi were one of the students that displayed great talent in their work as their poetry and drawing skills caught the eye of the AFH staff.

Sthokozile students all appeared to be excited about the workshop as they shared a common message of having AFH return again in the near future. Maneli Ndlovu who occupies the Arts and Culture post at the school spoke of some of the challenges they face when it comes to the arts. Lack of resources and facilities to house any art related activities has to some degree demotivated students from participating in art programs. It was however unfortunate that the workshop could only house 50 students with a few more that couldn’t be granted access because of space issues. The presentations of the work done by the Sthokozile group proved to be quite a treat as it combined love, pain & hope both in drawings and in poetry. The experience was quite memorable.

Refreshments were then served and the highlight of the workshop took centre stage. Topaz doing what he does best, delivered one of his best performances yet. His piece received a warm standing ovation from Sthokozile. It was a perfect closing to what has proved to be a series of highly insightful workshops.

Artist: Este Macleod (Boy)
Poet: Zandra Bezuidenhout (A Child Dreaming)
(Dialogue Amongst Civilization Catalogue)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Art and Social Justice Workshop at Ziphathele Secondary

by Njabulo Ngobese

The Ziphathele group proved to be quite a reserved bunch at first. Overwhelmed with the anxiety of finding out what the initiative was about, AFH director Jan Jordaan eased them into the picture as he swiftly introduced the Art for Humanity team and went on to explain their visit to the school. In his brief introductory presentation, Mr Jordaan encouraged the concept of ‘imagination’ and ‘dreams’ amongst the attendants of the Art and Social Justice Workshop. He explained how the two can be merged together to produce artistry both in writing and drawing. Eugene Raphalane of the Human Rights Commission took over after Jan Jordaan as he addressed the full class of art aspirants on the relationship between rights and responsibilities. “With every right presented comes a responsibility with it”. Those were the noted sentiments of Eugene Raphalane who encouraged pupils not to abuse their rights and learn to take responsibility for themselves.

Topaz then took the students outside to the school wall where the AFH banner featuring the works of artist Joseph Madisia and poet Luness Mpunwa was located. The Sound of the African Drum was the art work and poem being analysed by the students. Simultaneously reciting the poem, the pupils grabbed the attention of passing students as they momentarily became the centre of attention at Ziphathele. Each participant of the school workshop gave their personal analysis of the poem with Topaz giving his last thoughts on the piece before everyone headed back to the classroom.

After being presented with tools to unleash their creativity, the Ziphathele group went to work. 14 year old Nonhlanhla Xaba was knee deep in her poetry piece about a man who broke her mother’s heart. She expressed her joy on the presence of the school workshop at Ziphathele.

“The workshop is an opportunity for us to voice our talents. I’m not an artist in drawings but I am in my writings”, says Pamela Sibiya who was also enthused by the presence of AFH and their initiative.

When it came to drawings, Luyanda Mnika caught the eye of our experts with his piece simply titled iKhaya Lakho (Your Home). According to the 17 year old Luyanda, inner guidance is what has propelled him to produce the work he’s done. He went on to express the importance of the school workshop and how much it adds to the upliftment of their passion for art.

The presentations were breathtakingly beautiful. Pamela Sibiya led the pact with her poem I Am A Women followed by Marareni Busisiwe’s piece titled Pollution. Bonginkosi Goba showcased his offering titled Poverty and gave room to Atlang Maletsane who presented her work titled Washa Muntu Omusha. But the highlight of possibly the entire journey of school workshops we had been through was the bravery of Grade 8 pupil Monde Mabizela who disclosed her HIV status with a poem titled Ngiphila Kabuhlungu Emhlabeni (I Live in Hardship in this World). It was an emotional moment that caught everyone off guard as the poem became too much for Monde to read out to everyone. Thanks to the assistance and motherly care of AFH staff member Lungile Gumede, Monde’s heartfelt piece was read out by Lungile.

After all the presentations were completed, refreshments were served to the Ziphathele pupils and were given a dose of that Topaz magic as he delivered a highly charged piece that left the attendants of the workshop yearning for more. We also managed to speak to Ms. Majola who had been supervising the workshop on behalf of Ziphathele. She shared her thoughts on the importance of the AFH initiative and how much it can enhance art amongst the students. “Learners are creative but they need workshops like this to allow their creativity to be set free” as she further elaborated.

Banner: Artwork: Joseph Madisia (The Sound of the African Drum)

Poet: Luness Mpunwa (The Sound of the African Drum)

From the Dialogue Amongst Civilization Catalogue

To view more information on the artwork/poetry presented on the banner, please follow the link here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Art and Social Justice Workshop Chesterville Extension

By Njabulo Ngobese

A warm reception from Chesterville Extension staff members and pupils promised a fruitful outcome on the day’s events as far as the Art and Social Justice Workshop was concerned. AFH was once again excited to engage lovers of art and poetry in an experience that was giving them a chance to express themselves freely without any boundaries or limitations. 23 students at Grade 9 level were going to be the centre of attention during the course of the workshop as Miss Mgadi initiated the day’s program by addressing the participants on this AFH initiative. Jan Jordaan the director of AFH (Art for Humanity) was then given a chance to introduce himself and his team as well as the work they were there to carry out. In his introductory speech, he spoke of freedom and how it can influence one’s thought process when creating their art and poetry. Eugene Raphalane from the Human Rights Commission then took over from Jan as he addressed the Chesterville Extension pupils on the importance of Children’s Rights. Bearing emphasis on Chapter 2 – 28 Section 28 on the constitution, he elaborated on children’s rights to living under a safe and protected environment. He also touched on children’s rights to attaining an adequate education regardless of race or gender. Most importantly, Raphalane noted in his address that with rights comes responsibility.

The Chesterville Extension workshop participants were then led by the AFH team to the banner chosen by the school pupils themselves with artwork from Guto Nobrega titled Yes No & a poetry piece titled The Measure of Things by Sergio Rivero. After analysing the work presented on the banner, a question was then posed to the pupils to give their own personal interpretation of the pieces. Silungile Mqadi viewed the work to be a representation of choice and responsibility. “The use of different colours represents different races and the two dogs are the alter egos of one person and their ‘yes, no’ dilemma. Phelele Gwala also passed thought provoking commentary on the artwork as he made mention of the fact that animals live through the ‘survival of the fittest’ tactic, where as humans have a ‘maybe’ option.

It was back in the classroom where Lethu Langa passed out instructions to the pupils on their required tasks for the workshop. Shortly after, work was in session as the Grade 9 Chesterville Extension pupils took to their drawing boards displaying a full array of creativity in their art and poetry. During the creative session we managed to speak to Ms. N.H Mngazi who informed us about the relevance and importance of AFH’s initiave and how much it means to the workshop’s participants. She also made mention of the importance of art and poetry and the freedom it grants an individual to express themselves.

The presentations of the art work and poetry were kick started by Sthembile Mkhize who delivered a poem titled African Women that was according to him inspired by his mother. “She feeds me with good advice. When I was young, it was my mother that shaped me into what I am today” as Sthembile further elaborated on his heart warming piece. Nothando Ngubo was next in line with an artistic piece that addressed a serious humanitarian crisis on our hands, Climate Change. Nothando explained how pollution has contributed to the social decay in society as one of her family members suffered an asthma attack as a result of cooking on wood. She also made quite an impression with her awareness of the COP 17 summit that will be gracing Durban shores soon. Other students who displayed their work included Sibusiso Bohlela with a piece titled iBhasi, Zwelakhe Mbambo with Facing Problems in Life, Philani Mngadi with My Mind Battle with Earth, Sibahle Shozi – You’re Born Freely, Zama Makono – Future & many more.

After a hard day’s work, the pupils were then served with refreshments as Jan Jordaan gave his note of thanks to Chesterville Extension for their participation in the program.

Banner: Artwork: Guto Nobrega (Yes No)

Poem: Sergio Rivero (The Measure of Things)

(Dialogue Amongst Civilization Catalogue)

For more information on the artwork & poetry presented on the banner please click on the link here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chesterville Secondary School Workshop

By Thireshni Sanasy

The first Art and Social Justice workshop hosted by Art for Humanity at the Chesterville Secondary school on the 12 October 2011 proved to be a great success.

The Workshops which are an annual event, was funded by the eThekwini Municipality for Celebrate Durban which is a festival hosted by the Municipality for Heritage month. The Art and Social Justice workshops which were previously called the School Banner workshop, consists of a large banner being posted on the schools building. At Chestervill Secondary the banner consisted of the artwork by Joseph Madisia and poem by Luness Mpunwa both entitled ‘The Sound of the African Drum.’

The workshop began with AFH Director Jan Jordaan giving a brief introduction to the 36 learners who participated in the workshop. The learners ages varied from 13 to 17 all belonged to Grade 9. Malethu Langa, a facilitator at the workshop and 4th year fine art student at the Durban University of Technology addressed the learners on the power of art and poetry and how through the medium of art, human rights can be advocated. Eugene Raphalane from the South African Human Rights Commission then took the floor, informing the learners in their home language (Zulu) about their rights and how they have a responsibility to not only know their right but also respect them. The interested learners had many questions for Raphalane and were keen to learn more about their rights.

Learners were taken outside to where the banner was placed, where workshop participant, Nosipho Khomo (16) recited the poem to the audience followed by Poet Topaz who began interacting with the students to hear their views on the message portrayed through the ‘The Sound of the African Drum.’ Learners were not afraid to voice their opinions; one learner pointing out that the sun in the image could be used as a metaphor for ‘The light at the end of the tunnel’ as the artwork symbolizes the unity of Africa.

The students were then taken back to the classroom and split into two groups of 18 where one group did drawing whilst the other wrote poetry, after 15 minutes, the groups’ swapped activities. During the workshop AFH Journalists, Thireshni Sanasy and Njabulo Ngobese interviewed, photographed and filmed the learners. The workshop allowed the learners to freely express themselves and their work varied from the portrayal of their own emotions to social injustices that worry them. Arts and Culture educator at Chesterville Secondary Mrs Thipe, said, “I think this kind of workshop will allow the learners to express themselves in art and poetry. Learners need to be skilled in poetry and art, it is vital. They have to design whatever elements there are in poetry and art so that their own feelings can be expressed through the different mediums.”

During the workshop learners seemed eager to express themselves, and many enjoyed the activities given to them. 15 year old Smangale Shezi wrote a poem entitled ‘The motivation’ expressing her own values and writing about the effects of motivation on an individual and the necessity of it in a person’s life. Shezi said, “I like motivating those around me because I am very motive and I know its power.”

Other learners focused on the negative aspects that effect human society such as HIV/AIDS. 14 year old Sbusiso Zungu wrote his poem on how it is vital for people to be aware of the epidemic. “I want everyone to be informed about HIV Aids. People have a choice.” Zungu added that he thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and had learnt about how important freedom is from the banner placed on the school building.

During the workshops students also took the drawing aspect seriously, and many drew images that had a deeper meaning or metaphor. was about the fact that South Africa is being “sold” to other countries and that injustice is rife among us. Shinga said, “I chose to draw about the African Nation because we just experienced Heritage Day and money deals with the African Nation being sold to other countries which isn’t something any African person would feel good about.” Mondli Magaqo (16) also decided to draw about South Africa. Entitled “Vuka Afrika Shaya Izanla” was an image of the sun, a hut, a river and the mountains. Magoqo said that it was a metaphor for the fact that when the sun rises, light comes in and people need to wake and go to work, Magaqo said, “I drew the sun because lots of people need to go to work, and it is the sun that brings in a new day, so a new day of work.” He added that he got his inspiration of the picture from “The Sound of the African Drum” by Jospeh Madisia on the school banner. “Just like the sun brings in light on the banner picture, the sun in my picture also brings light and a new day.”

The learners then presented their work to the class. 8 of the learners individually took to the stage and presented their art to the class, whilst reciting their poem. The depth of which the learners wrote was indescribable. 17 year old Snethemba Lukshozi presented her poem, instilling the belief in her fellow class mates, that ‘love has no shame’. Nonjabulo Zondi (15) was passionate in her presentation of the importance of a person’s name, and how she is and always will be proud of her own name.

The workshop concluded with Topaz reciting more poetry to an audience of awed learners.

To view more information on the artwork/poetry presented on the banner, please follow the link here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mowart Park School Workshop

By Njabulo Ngobese

Freedom defined through art and poetry were the shared sentiments of AFH (Art for Humanity) director Jan Jordaan, whose introductory speech to the 32 Mowart Park Girls that attended the Art and Social Justice Workshop kick started the day’s activities on a high note. Accompanied by the Human Rights Commission representative Eugene Raphalane, the message of freedom was further elaborated with a brief talk on responsibilities. The thin line between one’s right to express themselves and that expression being offensive to the next person was highlighted in Raphalane’s speech with a bold example he made of the Julius Malema situation with the “Kill the Boer” song.

AFH poet Topaz then took over as the 32 attendants of the Art and Social Justice Workshop were led to the banner displayed on the school wall where he engaged them in the analysis of the art and poetry of Louise Almon (artist) and Myesha Jenkins (poet). After reading the displayed poem simultaneously, words of encouragement from Topaz graced the Mowart Park participants as they geared up to display their artistry through their imagination whilst having fun at the same time.

It was all systems go when the workshop participants engaged in their given tasks of drawing a piece of art and writing a poem that represents it (vice versa). Zizipho Gwilika, a grade 8 learner was the first to have her work on display. With a subject matter she claims keeps her motivated, Love, Life & Legacy was the name of her piece. Linking creativity and reality, Zizipho describes her offering as a balance between seriousness and fun whilst the two are embedded together to represent a message of enlightenment. Grade 11 student Nombulelo Myeni was next on the list as she allowed the stretch of her imagination to paint a picture perfect tomorrow with her ideal husband. “I’m constantly thinking about the future”, says the 17 year old future star who further elaborated on the school workshop as a “source of great inspiration”.

The third piece of art and poetry came from Fikile Mthembu titled None Sense. “I’m free to make a total idiot of myself through art and not be judged”, the noted sentiments in Fikile’s thought provoking piece. Her complex word play made for an interesting read as the audience was left astounded by the 16 year old’s mature pen sliding skills. Nosipho Gcina closed off the presentations with a piece about a broken heart of a young African girl. She simple stated “It was just a thought” when a question was posed about her work. Nosipho further elaborated by commanding the workshop for helping them in their levels of improvisation as far as combining art and poetry.

Most of the participants in the workshop were enthused by the banner displayed on the school wall as it showed them the relationship between art and poetry and how the two relate to one another. All presentations lived up to excellence as the words of encouragement from AFH clearly played their hand in motivating the girls to outdo themselves. English and Art teacher Mrs D Reddy had positive things to say about the involvement of her students in the Art and Social Justice Workshop as she commanded the girls on their enthusiasm and ability to give out their best in any given task.

Topaz then delivered a poem that sparked up levels of excitement amongst the students as they requested for another one. Not known for falling short of excellence, he effortlessly breezed through his second poem as a huge standing ovation from the Mowart Park workshop participants followed.

Jan Jordaan concluded the workshop as he shared his joy and excitement on the success of the day’s events. 16 year old Nosipho Gcina gracefully gave thanks to AFH for their contribution to the school’s calendar.

For more information on the artwork & poetry presented on the banner please click on the link here