Arts and culture Community Development

South African based Zim visual artist in Save the Children fundraiser

Mandlenkosi Mavengere

By Elvis Dumba

Cape Town, South Africa – A Zimbabwean-born South Africa-based visual artist has partnered with Save the Children (SA) in fundraising initiatives aimed to finance the organization’s work on various children’s issues.

The talented artiste will headline The African Legal Awards art exhibition where an array of his artwork will be auctioned.

Save the Children South Africa uses its worldwide trademark approach to child-centered programs and child rights approaches through utilizing networks, and partners in reaching out hard to reach communities with an objective to promote meaningful child participation within a broader child rights-based programming.

The organization focuses on three thematic areas which are child protection, education, health and nutrition with cross-cutting themes of migration and displacement and children’s rights governance issues.

Mandlenkosi Mavengere who was born in Zimbabwe’s “City of Kings” – Bulawayo, in 1992, enrolled at Artist Proof Studio, South Africa to study his childhood passion and dream of arts. He got a prestigious one-year internship and mentoring by William Kentridge, and the experience he got resulted in his signature technique of creating large print fabric banknotes that form unique canvasses on which he paints his stories of socio-economic migration and endless human capital in Africa.

Mandlenkosi’s work started getting rave reviews at the beginning of his art career in 2013 after his work was featured in over a dozen exhibitions such as “Black Like Us” Exhibition in Parkhurst, “Love-World Festival of Music and Arts, Turbine Art Fair, Absa Gallery, Cape Town Fair among other prestigious exhibitions.

He also hosted a “Black Sheep” exhibition where he showcased over thirty pieces of his artwork that depicted African icons from various backgrounds.

He also participated in Belgium Art Fair, and AKAA Art Fair in France and has launched a collaboration with South African fashion designer David Tlale where they fuse two concepts by blending artwork and garments.

“My banknote artworks are a framework within which one can observe issues of migration concerning issues of socio-economic divergence of the population and its convergence to places of a better life,” he said in a recent interview.

Mandlenkosi said through the exhibition he aims to contribute to the positive response to children’s issues through Save the Children South Africa.

Turning to his views on the appreciation and support for visual arts between Zimbabwe and his host country, Mandlenkosi said South Africa has lots of opportunities and support for visual artists – something which he said is still lagging behind in the country.

“South Africa has helped to shape my career to where it is now as they have lots of people who appreciate and love the type of my artwork. There is amazing support from various stakeholders, something which is still yet to blossom in Zimbabwe,” he said.

His work to be auctioned to the highest bidders on the sidelines of the African Legal Awards will be exhibited on 2 September 2022.

Save the Children South Africa launched the Child Advocate award in 2020 which is offered to a legal firm demonstrating actionable commitment towards the achievement of a fair and just society for children

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende