Khaltsha artists pay homage to women

These are the brains behind this artistic mural, Yanga Cool G Lingani, Zizo Bongekile Manona, Lwando Gibson Lese, Luvo Khwehla and Yonela Kitise.

A group of Khayelitsha artists have added their voices in honouring women by painting the second largest mural in Makhaza on the walls of Mark’s Bnb last week.

The artists, who go by the collective name of Signatures, include Yanga “Cool G” Lingani, Zizo Bongekile Manona, Lwando “Gibson” Lese, Luvo Khwehla and Yonela Kitise.

The mural contains mainly the face and upper body of a woman.

The artists said they felt the need to do their bit in appreciating the powerful yet difficult role women play in our lives.

They would like to see more art pieces in the township honouring women as this could contribute to the fight against gender-based violence.

Mr Lingani said they asked themselves what they could they do to pay homage to women and felt that this was a unique way of paying respect to them.

He said in many township households women were the ones keeping the family together and raising the children while fathers were absent.

But he said it was shocking that men still continue to abuse women.

The 28-year-old said they wanted the painting to grab people’s interest and attention.

He said the artists decided to work together because there were many talented artists in Khayelitsha but they work in isolation.

He said it was important to work in teams because that helps them to grow individually and to learn from each other.

He said one of the aims was to re-introduce public art in the township with a different perspective and feel.

“I’m a deep realism artist. My art contains emotions and has a human element.

“Art is not taken seriously in the township. Parents don’t encourage their children to become artists. Art is seen as a hobby not a career.

“We want to make art fashionable. We have done three exhibitions but we had not named ourselves.

“We want to leave a mark behind. We want to change the outlook of art and how it has been perceived over the years,” he said.

Mr Lingani said one of the challenges was getting people to allow them to draw on their walls.

“A lack of financial support has also been a problem.

However, he said social art has a powerful impact in the township and also beautifies our communities.

He said many artists were frustrated because it seems that there was no spaces and opportunities to showcase their talent.

However, he said that their aim was to make a difference in their community and at least inspire the youth.

The group will conduct art workshops in Khayelitsha in the coming weeks.

He said he hopes that artists could be supported so that they could flourish in their careers. The mural on Mark’s Bnb took them three days to complete.

Ms Manona said they wanted art to be inclusive while creating awareness about it.

She said they want to grow and be recognised not just in Khayelitsha but globally.

The 27-year-old said they wanted to create an art identity for the country and use it to convey certain messages. She said she was proud of the support they got from the people of Makhaza.