No hold barred at Khaya debate

Founder of the Makukhanye Art Room, Mandisi Sando.

A heated discussion about the state of the townships and the potential of its artists took place at Makukhanye Art Room, in Khayelitsha, as part of Youth Day celebrations.

The Makukhanye Art Room was filled to capacity with residents, budding artists and famous faces such as actress Thoko Ntshinga.

Makukhanye is an NPO that aims to create a much-needed platform for budding artists of Khayelitsha and surrounding areas to showcase their talents.

The event was themed Black Art and Communities at Heart Open Conversations.

Those present were encouraged to be critical thinkers, self-reliant and part of the decision-making in their communities.

Founder of the Makukhanye Art Room, Mandisi Sando, said it was time to scrutinise the current state of Khayelitsha, focusing on black artists and communities.

He said there was no unity among black artists and he hoped that the discussion would change that.

Mr Sando hopes artists would work together against the exclusion of black artists at major festivals and government-related events and from sourcing funding.

Mr Sando said apartheid was long gone and artists should not be experiencing oppression in 2017.

He said it was hurtful that community-based art groups and budding artists were ignored by their own government.

He said it pained him that there was no art centre in Khayelitsha even though the area had produced a number of great artists.

He said this was an opportunity for black artists and communities to unite and talk about the importance of art in black communities.

Mr Sando described the event as one of the ways for artists to discover themselves and look to the future.

“Townships have been a dumping ground, but we need to change that. It will take us to change these imbalances of the past,” he said.

Keynote speaker Pastor Xola Skosana said it was crucial that the talk formed part of an open conversation series aimed at exploring and discovering the importance of black artists and black communities.

Mr Skosana said the inhumane living conditions of black people should be considered as a crime.

He said most informal settlements were congested.

“To be black in the world in the eyes of others is to be tasteless, unrefined, loud, overdone and over-elaborate. It is to be impolite, ill-mannered, uncultured and low-minded. Black existence can be likened to someone giving off a fart, a naturally and healthy emission of wind through the anus, but feel they have to apologise for it,” he said.

Mr Skosana said overflowing human excrement; broken traffic lights and rubbish piling up in the streets is a clear indication that the life of a black person is regarded as useless and less-important.

He said the environment that a black person finds themselves in affects them.