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.


Ezekiel Madiba

Born in Eastwood, near Pretoria, on April, 5, 1948, Ezekiel Madiba is often referred to as Boycie. When his family settled at Walmanstal, near Pretoria, he attended secondary school at Lethabong.

Madiba was only fourteen when he started drawing and soon developed a love for wood carving. After completing his final exams, he moved to Ga-Rankua township, again near Pretoria. All his life Madiba has moved around, working in different places. After a string of jobs that had nothing to do with art, in 1971 that he decided to work as a full time artist, and moved to Mabupane township, also just outside Pretoria.

Continuing to live with his family in Mabupane, his family now included his wife and three children and his mother. While many other artists have enjoyed the warmth and support of their parents as they pursued their art, Madiba’s experience with his domineering mother was not a happy one. She was very critical about her son’s chosen career and his inability to fully support his family. Also, like many other black artists, Madiba had no studio of his own and had to work from home producing large sculptings and carvings.

Madiba was inspired by the works of several white artists, in particular Raymond Andrew’s woodcuts and from whom he received lessons. Madiba’s fellow black artists such as Isaac Nkoana, David Phoshoko and Eric Lubisi have remained close friends. In 1971 he met respected black socialite and artist, Jeff Mpakati. Mpakati paved the way for Madiba to exhibit his work in various embassies. The shows were a success and a financial boost for Madiba enabling him to better support his family and thus allowing him to focus on his work.

Though Madiba’s medium is woodcut, he has also explored mixed media, such as silkscreen printing combined with woodcuts. Madiba’s work portrays the lifestyle of black people in the townships. His work has some element of humour but is also influenced by Christian ethos.

Madiba’s work include The Musicians, 1979 (Woodcut), The Blues, 1979 (Woodcut), The Crucifix, 1979 (Woodcut), Isangoma, 1979, Woodcut, The Thinker, 1979 (Woodcut), Dancers, 1975 (Woodcut on Paper), Initiation School, 1974, Women, 1974 (Woodcut),

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.