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Picture Perfect: Woza Moya supports local artist

Malibongwe Shangase's work is featured for the month of March on the Woza Moya Artists’ Wall.

MALIBONGWE Shangase is the 31st artist showcasing his work on the Woza Moya Artists’ Wall, and his work is being featured for the month of April. The concept behind the Woza Moya Artist’s Wall and Artist’s Cards is to create and showcase the work of artists who have been hard-hit by Covid. Each month, a different artist is paid to paint a 1.2m x 1.2m wall panel which is displayed on the wall outside the Woza Moya Hillcrest AIDS Centre shop.

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Woza Moya assists the artist by marketing their work for the entire month their work is on display. A greeting card is made of the painted wall panel and sold in their shops so that artists can earn an ongoing passive income. This has worked well with artists earning from R200 to R1 000 a month from the sale of the cards.

About the artist

Shangase was born on April 10, 1983. He grew up in Ntuzuma, KwaMashu. He believes that his family would have preferred him to follow a more traditional career path or get what he refers to as a ‘real’ job. The art bug bit him at the age of six when he started drawing. Today, he cannot imagine doing anything else but creating art. After completing high school, he came across a programme called the Velobala Group outreach project, facilitated by the Durban African Art Centre.

The Velobala Group provides art classes for young artists who are unable to enrol at tertiary educational facilities as a result of financial constraints. Malibongwe attests to the fact that his teacher at that time – well-known artist Themba Shibase – was a great inspiration who taught him how to express himself in his work. After excelling as a student in the Velobala Art classes, Shangase was selected as a resident artist at the Bat Centre in Durban where he worked with master printers, such as Isaac Sithole and Ezequiel Mabote.

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Today, Shangase spends a large amount of time sharing his knowledge and skills with the next generation of artists. He explains that he initially chose art for the love of it, without the expectation of earning a sustainable income from his interest. He is now a full-time artist who produces works on paper in the form of woodcuts and oil pastels.

He has travelled extensively and has exhibited his work in South Africa, Switzerland and Berlin. Shangase enjoys talking about his life and his interest in the community in which he lives. He often explores the theme of ‘What’s going on inside the houses in the township?’ His works are very expressive, following his ‘inner emotions’. Shangase credits fellow artist Ezequiel Mabote for exposing him to and teaching him the technique of colour reduction. More artworks can be found through Woza Moya and @The Cape Gallery.

His artwork, Riding to School, is an oil-based woodcut print on cartridge paper and can be shipped inexpensively in a tube for R220 locally and approximately R680 internationally.

Shop opening times:

Woza Moya is based at the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, 26 Old Main Road, in Hillcrest, and is open from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:00, and from 09:00 to 17:00 at Woza Moya Windermere Centre. On Saturdays, the HACT shop is open from 08:00 to 14:00 and from 09:00 to 14:00 at Windermere. Woza Moya is the economic empowerment project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust.

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