Ifa Lethu Mourns the Passing of its Board Member

Together with South Africa, the Ifa Lethu foundation mourns the passing of legendary jazz musician, Hugh Masekela. Uncle Hugh lost his courageous battle with prostate cancer in Johannesburg on Tuesday, 23 January 2018. While the country mourns the loss of such phenomenal talent in the music industry, Ifa Lethu mourns the loss of a very dear friend and advisor. After serving as a founding Director on the Foundation’s South African Board, Uncle Hugh went on to sit on Ifa Lethu’s Board of Elders. During his tenure on the latter he continued to provide wise counsel on our work and projects as well as to motivate our youth entrepreneurs. His involvement and performances in our many global events was legendary. This was especially the case when he performed for the FTSE 100 CEO’s and Chairpersons as well as celebrities at the Lord Mayor’s/Ifa Lethu Gala Investment Dinner in London. Hamba Kahle Uncle Hugh and May You continue to inspire us and our youth for eternity.

Director and CEO, Dr. Narissa Ramdhani addressed delegates  at the 2nd National Conference of the South African Cultural Observatory on The Creative Economy and Development.  The conference was held at the Turbine Hall, Johannesburg from 24-26 May 2017. Her address was entitled.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Rural Industrialisation and Development: Successes for Ifa Lethu in the Creative Economy of South Africa.        
Brand Ambassador of Ifa Lethu, Michael Selekane, joined Dr. Ramdhani as a co-presenter at the Cultural Observatory National Conference in May 2017. 


Edward Maqwacha Miya is our featured artist (fashion designer) for this quarter.  Edward has been fortunate to have participated in the Ifa Lethu Creative Entrepreneurship training and Mentoring programmes the Ditlabeng Municipality(Clarens) of the Free State Province in 2016-2017.


Bhekisani Manyoni

Bhekisani Manyoni, a Vosloorus-based artist, was born on September 6, 1945 in the town of Greytown in Natal. Manyoni’s family moved from Greytown to settle in the Dundee district, near Rorke’s Drift. As with so many who had benefited by attending Rorke’s Drift for their basic art education, the young Manyoni’s artistic skills were to be developed and enriched through Rorke’s Drift for his primary education, moving on to Maphumulo Junior Secondary School. He went back to Rorke’s Drift to do his standard seven and for the next three years he remained at the institution undertaking art classes.

At Rorke’s Drift Manyoni came under the tutelage of Leon de Smet, a Belgian born artist. He was employed by the institution for a period of two years during which time he was offered lessons in fine art, and in particular ceramics and weaving. While there, Manyoni became friendly with John Muafangejo who had great influence on Manyoni’s work. In fact, Muafangejo’s religious influence is noticeable in many of Manyoni’s pieces

In 1970 and at the invitation of the Swazi government, he was employed as a curator at the Pandora Gallery in Mbabane, Swaziland; vi and since the late 1970s, has been attached to the Katlehong Art Gallery where he offered lessons to disadvantage black communities, something he does to this day.

Manyoni’s area of specialization is in ceramic sculpture and lino design and he has exhibited in many countries, including Holland and Germany. He also produces wood carvings. He has received several awards such as the Hans Meresnky Trust Award at Grahamstown and at the Total Gallery’s Tapestry exhibition. His work forms part of the collections at the Durban Art Gallery, Unisa, Wits, Zululand University, the West German Ethnological Museum, the IBM collection, Putco Foundation and Sached Trust.

His work includes: Shaka and the Young Boys, Isangoma, Boys Chasing Swallows, The Dancer, Family in Love, Slaughter, Wedding, Sea Gulls, Spirit of Freedom, Story Teller, Journey by Train, Musician, Village on a Farm, Resettlement, Ploughing on a Farm, Eyes of God on the World, King and Wife, Desert, Composer, Great Trek, Lobola, Zionist Church, Calabash, Golden Calf, Priest and Congregation, Shaka Zulu, Indaba and Happy New Year.

Click here to view other artworks

Ifa Lethu completed two further projects nationally in recent months.  They included the Creative Entrepreneurial Project Phase 2 in Clarens, Free State and the Arts and Craft Beneficiation Project for the Cradle of Humankind (COH)  World Heritage Site, the latter being the Foundation’s flagship project for 2016-2017.