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 http://www.afh.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=65