Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Noble Existence a solo exhibition of 32 life-size oil-on-canvas paintings on the life and times of Sol T Plaatje by local artist Giorgie Bhunu opens at Stadt 1 Methodist Church on 9 October 2014. Plaatje was undoubtedly the most acclaimed African of his time as writer, journalist and fervent campaigner against the ills of colonialism. 

He was influenced in his political career amongst others, which saw him later being elected first Secretary General of what came to be eventually known as the African National Congress and delegated twice to petition the British government in England on the disastrous consequences of the 1913 Land Act, by his experiences as interpreter in interactions between colonial authorities and Batswana Kingdoms and chronicler of the effects of the Anglo-Boer War on Africans especially during the Mafeking Siege years. Plaatje lived in Mahikeng, misspelled Mafeking by colonial authorities, between 1898 and 1910, years that saw the whole country evolve into a Union and the foundation of the Apartheid years firmly laid. His first articles as a journalist were published in the Mafeking Mail and he went on to become editor in one of the first black newspapers, Koranta ea Becuana owned by Silas Molema. He also wrote his first book Mafeking Diary at that time. Sol Plaatje went on to write more books, tour the world and meet some of the most influential leaders in black history including Marcus Garvey and W E B Dubois.

Noble Existence is a memorialisation of the story of Sol T Plaatje in images, celebrating the concept of leadership exemplified by his life, captured in Modiri Molema’s definition of him – morata wabo, lover of his people. The images are largely taken from old photographs, a process which at times called for creative interpretation and improvisation on the part of the artists.  Stadt 1 Methodist Church was opened by Kgosi Montshiwa in 1885 and located in the original capital of Barolong boorra Tshidi is in Bhunu’s view the perfect setting for reincarnating the spirit of the time. 

Sol Plaatje stayed for some time in the house of the Molema’s known as Maratiwa, but finally moved to live with his family at Seweding.  Bhunu believes in community-centred art that sees his work as part of the history of Barolong, dictating it be located and contextualized within their midst. He is a graduate of the former University of Bophuthatswana where he specialized in visual art influenced by the works of the pioneers of black art like George Pemba and Gerald Sekoto.  The exhibition, the first of its kind, is part of a greater three-themed project involving Walls that Teach – a series of murals – and Veneration of Images, a celebration in sculptures of the history of local Magosi. Bhunu is advocating for the adoption of Stadt as a Cultural Precinct envisioned as a special creative economic zone.

The exhibition will run until the 7th of November 2014 and is produced by LG Creative Artists in collaboration with the Mmabana Arts, Culture and Sports Foundation, funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).  Among those expected to benefit most from the event are scholers, cultural tourists and general public – entrance will be free. For further information contact Publicists Lerato 0712748983 and Keaoboka 0726700711

Thursday, 17 July 2014



This signature project has been well received by the Barolong community, in its third phase #wallsthatteach has focused on a theme relating to literacy and the role that it has played in empowering the well educated Batswana old folk from the era of the first black man to fly in a hot air balloon Kgosi Montshioa (late 1800) as well as the legendary Sol Plaatje, and the Molema lineage. Amongst the first published newspapers in the Southern hemisphere “Koranta ya Becoana” is featured along with some of the most revered Setswana literature books that have shaped the preservation of the language in the Tswana region.

There will be specially organized tours come heritage month(September) and in counting down to the solo exhibition of Giorgie Bhunu called Noble Existence which is a body of work relating a narrative about the Life of Sol Plaatje and the Barolong Monarch. Famous for his memoirs relating a black man’s account of the “Siege of Mahikeng” that lasted several months with women and children massacred in concentration camps and thousands of Barolong who perished from the war famine. His book ‘ Mhudi’ amongst many other authors has been captured on the walls-that-teach Murals.

PAYT Trust has followed this project’s progression with close interest as it sparks an exciting era in Mahikeng’s historical background that is yet to be fully explored. As we spotted the wall murals under construction we also took a sneak peak at the state of affairs inside Lotlamoreng Dam. Needless to say that what was once a haven for cultural artists has diminished into a lost kingdom and Arts in wellness space that served a higher purpose through its originator Credo Mutwa during its time, now under threat of being wiped out of our memory and sight! 

PAYT Trust is part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with LG Creative Artist, the Barolong Tribal Authority as well as the Department of Arts and Culture and various stakeholders, in creating a task team and cooperation between industry, government and civil society to develop this urban renewal project further. The essential characteristic of PPP models is the co-existence and governing through a shared economy versus an ownership model that benefits a minority instead of the majority. PPP is not an objective in itself, but an instrument for carrying out important projects that require capitalization and enabling a supportive environment.  
PAYT Trust invites you to visit the Old Town Mahikeng, a true cultural destination and a historical Batswana capital. In the summertime, it becomes a stage for open air concerts, shows of theater troupes and a gallery for painters.  Romantic lanes going down to Modimola and Disaneng Dam, while witnessing the breath taking sun sets, a perfect setting for moments of relation and after hours spent at #Walls-that-teach (drive by public art exhibition)
Mahikeng is also a paradise for sacral art lovers, a tour inside Lotlamoreng Dam will bring your spirit closer to the ingenuity of public art spaces designed to inspire and heighten your creative existence.
For more information regarding the Educational Tours and the #Walls-that-teach project email wallsthatteach@gmail.com or lerato.mosimane@paytlive.org   

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The journey to 'Veneration of Images' Part 1


An incredible "steel&plant" gallery museum offering a unique point of view to the rural existence and en-route to Groot Marico is a significant reference for the beginning of our journey.
What is found to be endearing is the perspective and use of materials in the subject matters at the Museum, items that would otherwise constitute our waste products such as used tyres for trucks, have been given a new meaning hosting an array of plants and living organs, symbolizing the undeniable cycle of life.

Concepts of the 'dead serve the living' can be interpreted in dialogue within the displayed gallery, which judging from the location of the Museum, is no more a visible attraction on the N4 between Zeerust and Groot Marico than a low key roadside nursery. To our suprice there is life and plenty of it....

As we make our way with our intended destination for this leg of the trip being the studio house of Masterpiece Sculptor Johan Moolman who is based in Groot Marico.The dialogue on the road trip did not disappoint and reflected on the minds of the young people living in South Africa. Suggestive input in these conversations indicate that the next coming general elections will mark the beginning of opposition to the status quo. Like any other trip conversations, scenery and good company are the x factor to any memorable experience....

'Veneration of Images' is a public art project that is founded by LG Creative Artists in North West South Africa, and in a collaborative effort with PAYT Trust as a Public Private Partnership (Triple P) initiative, that aims to tell the stories of the Indi people through genuine art. An African practice that has always existed which today is tagged Public art, through sphinxes, rock arts and artifacts that are shared objects, continue to define civilizations.
'Veneration of Images' features an extensive context into the rural life of the Batswana people in the form of Mural and sculpture artwork with immense contribution to traditional preservation.

The Project is in its second phase and can be seen at the Lotlamoreng Dam, a cultural village in the historic town of Mahikeng. Keep posted @paytafrica.blogspot for more on this journey. As we document this road trip it became very clear that there is allot to be discovered and published in rural SA.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Art in Black Africa

The art of sub-Saharan Africa has a long history, although it is difficult to reconstruct precisely because many works, being made from wood and earth, have disappeared without a trace and archaeological excavations, which could enrich our knowledge of the region, are still rare.

To fully appreciate the meaning of these artworks, it is necessary to relate them to the forms of life, societies and religion or beliefs that led to their creation or use.

Although they may vary from place to place, some elements seen to be recurrent and common to all African artistic tradition, statues are often figures of ancestors or deities and sacrifices offered to them to maintain communication with the other world, between gods and human, between the prescribed notion of the living and the dead.

Those Masks which are brought into the village from the forest are also displayed during invitation rites believed to guarantee social order, importing the value of community and punishing transgressors. The fertility of women and the fields is a recurrent theme expressed by Art. In societies with no writing system art offered material support for word, thus facilitating for the transmission of traditions.

While much attention is often paid to the forms, objects and themes of Art culture in Africa, it is very clear that the Artwork is almost never created solely for pleasure. These works are not the expression of the artist’s free imagination nor are they intended for the individual enjoyment of the collector.  Far more ambitiously, their creation and purpose is to contribute to the order of the world – the well-being of the community and to maintaining life.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Towards a Knowledge Society: shared knowledge can unite communities!

018 Golf is a Non Violence project that seeks to raise awareness and advocate for Non Violence through a Violence Intervention Program (VIP), that is being administered by a Public Charitable Trust called PAYT Trust.

To remain human and live-able  knowledge societies will have to be societies of shared knowledge. Building knowledge societies is directly linked to technology and education; this is the views of Mahikeng’s Social Entrepreneur and Founder of PAYT Trust Lerato Mosimane who is upbeat about the upcoming 018 Golf Campaign taking place during Child Protection Week.
PAYT Trust serves to empower young people through an educational and industrial development program that ranges from vocational training, advocacy, career guidance, edu-tours and digital publishing of African content, amongst many initiatives. 018 Golf is a fund raising benefit that will assist in creating seed funds for research, studies and educational material that address violence related issues. The non violence campaign through its VIP will channel information and empower victims of violence towards breaking the cycle. 018 Golf is about a culture of consciousness and recourse by promoting sport, recreational and alternative lifestyle orientation that are aligned with optimizing wellness.

If a culture of sharing can enable a culture of learning, a culture of peace is easily attainable and new possibilities of an advanced and well off society can be projected as well as achieved.”            Lerato Mosimane

018 Golf will kick-starts at Leopard Park Golf Club on 24 May with a Golf Clinic, followed by a Self Defense seminar taking place on Africa Day 25th May and the campaign ends with a Golf Challenge on 31st May.

As a program that advances education and directs young people towards various opportunities, PAYT 
Trust has adopted a policy for open schools and virtual universities or higher learning programs that represent new institutional models. Knowledge is a common good – and ICT supported education can and must contribute to making knowledge more freely available to more people particularly in rural communities.

PAYT Trust is constructing an open dialogue through projects such as 018 Golf,  that serve to leverage on modern day applications that assist to inform and model the ideal through discovery. It is through discovery particularly self discovery that people are able to achieve great things including conquering fears. The social capital of this generation and the next lies in knowledge and the success of any society lies in harnessing that knowledge.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Cultural Sentiments: Art in Motion

About the Artist
Georgie Bhunu
Georgie Bhunu has over 20 years in the Fine Artists industry. He has a passion for Art and has contributed to the development and growth of Art having previously lectured Arts at the North-West University, Mmabana Foundation, and the International School of South Africa. He has successfully established himself as an arts entrepreneur as a sole Director of LG Creative Artists, a North West Province based company specializing in Fine Arts, Industrial/ Urban Design.
Amongst his achievements is that he participated in numerous Art Exhibitions which include the Sol Plaatje Art Exhibition, the Millenium Africa Arts & Exhibition in Florida USA and his own Solo Exhibition at the Sandton Village Walk. Georgie’s Artwork has been collected by high-profile individuals amongst them is the late Walter Sisulu, President J Zuma and President Thabo Mbeki. His latest renowned work is the revamping of Lotlamoreng Dam with Mural artwork that depicts the history of the Barolong through portraits of the Barolong monarchy.
Georgie Bhunu's work in progress at his Gallery in Mahikeng

Georgie Bhunu is the essential painter. A maverick storyteller of dramatic moments of life in its myriad self. A visual philosopher who has an undying love for lesser told stories of the expressive yet impressive, attractive yet repulsive, innocent yet pulsating aferican village life. Colours not words must be used to define and do justice to painters like Bhunu.

The mastery of his chosen subject matter might be deemed as simple yet to him its the loyalty to his own upbringing, longings, childhood mirth of those chapters of life, a universal phenomena found in every living.  Bhunu has recently cut himself a niche as a cultural heritage chronicler as he has related the stories of the Barolong people their heroes

Aside his long awaited work on "The life and times of Sol Plaatje", PAYT takes a journey with Georgie to capture the Exhibition and its following as it goes on a National Tour.
So it didnt come as a surprise when "What is Poetry" the International tour festival which will be coming to Mahikeng on 22 April, they included Georgie Bhunu as one of the Local Fine Artists they profiling and giving a platform through the organized Tour festival. Yet another initiative of "Arts in Motion" taking it to the people... Go check the 'What is Poetry?' Program for yourself www.whatispoetry.net

What is Poetry? is a celebration of language festival and will take place in Johannesburg, Mahikeng, Polokwane, Makhado and Harare Zimbabwe. Featured Poets come from all over the world including our very own South Africans: Kgafela oa Magogodi, Alan Finlay, Mbali Kgosidintsi, Xoli Norman and Lesego Rampolokeng amongst others.

21st April - 3rd May 2013

Catch PAYTLive crew there!!!