South African Cultural Observatory

Durban visual artist Mondli Mbhele wins 2022 Sasol New Signatures

BY 30.09.22

Full-time artist Mondli Mbhele from Durban was announced as the winner of the 2022 Sasol New Signatures Art Competition. With the win he walks away with a cash prize of R100 000 and an opportunity to have a solo exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum in 2023.

Mbhele won the coveted title for his work titled Iphasi nesiphesheli, which is part of a bigger series titled Umlando uyaziphinda. This is an isiZulu phrase, meaning “history repeats itself”.

The series of mixed-media works is inspired by various iconic events from South Africa’s history.  In his winning work, Mbhele explores the dynamics of protests in contemporary South Africa. The brightly coloured collage is a snapshot of an ominous moment in a protest wherein a person is lying lifeless on the ground, yet no one seems alarmed.

Sasol has been the proud sponsor of the New Signatures competition for 32 years, which was established by the Association of Arts Pretoria in the late 1960’s.

Omolemo Rammile from Bloemfontein was crowned runner-up and awarded R25 000 for her work entitled Mére célibataire (single mom), which pays tribute to her mother and acknowledges the personal sacrifices she makes on a daily basis as a sole provider and breadwinner for her twin daughters. Bread is universally considered a staple food source. The artist uses embossed bread tags to symbolise the ‘daily bread’ her mother buys to feed her family. The multiple imprints of the bread tag on the paper are akin to the lasting impact and inner mark that the mother’s love has left on the artist and her family.

The DStv Delicious Return

The DStv Delicious International Food & Music Festival, a music festival for food and music lovers returned after a two year absence forced by the Covid-19 lockdown closures. The Gauteng revellers took advantage of the weather and flocked to the event in big numbers, even overwhelming the organisers. The two-day event is reported to have boasted well over 20 000 attendees, especially for the first day, which may demonstrate the hunger for South Africans who are keen to attend cultural events after two years of being closed in. The event comprised a mix of local and international artists.

Johannesburg had to offer.

Coke Studio announces SA artists to take part Coke Studio 2022

Coke Studio, a global musical platform which provides an opportunity for creative talents to create new, exclusive sounds for new and existing audiences recently announced a number of South African artists to take part in Coke Studio 2022. These are disc jockey and producer DJ Zinhle; rapper Focalistic; R&B and soul singer Lloyiso; amapiano duo Amaroto; hip-hop and R&B duo MajorSteez and amapiano star Ch’ccoAlot.

Commenting on the announcement, Coca-Cola Africa senior marketing director Silke Bucker said that SA music “stands out from the rest of the world”. Bucker added “that Coke Studio celebrates and demonstrates the unique ability of music to bring people together to enjoy new experiences while providing a unique connection point”.

South African creative talent on display in The Woman King movie

The American movie, which started showing in SA cinemas on 30 September 2022 is a showcase of South Africa’s creative talent and a further recognition of SA’s creative talents by international film industry. Led by the Underground Railroad movie star, Thuso Mbedu, the film boasts several South Africans as members of the film cast. The movie features South Africans Masali Baduza, Thando Dlomo, Siv Ngesi, Makgotso M and former Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi.  The movie site describes it as a historical epic story inspired by true events that took place in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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