Mmegi Online :: More Basarwa participants in Presidentís competitions
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Last Updated
Tuesday 19 September 2017, 16:12 pm.
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More Basarwa participants in Presidentís competitions

Basarwa are historically known for their rock art but even at this age they still hold on to their culture and roots by engraving it on canvas.
By Mompati Tlhankane Fri 14 Jul 2017, 16:12 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: More Basarwa participants in Presidentís competitions








While products of the Kuru Art Project like Olebogeng Moses have already expressed their traditions and won President’s Day competitions in the past, many Basarwa artists have not actively participated in this competition until this year. This year marks nine years since the President’s Day competitions inception in 2008 and as the competition keeps growing so is the participation.

Basarwa’s ancestors have painted rocks all over Southern Africa and now these upcoming artists have adorned the national museum art gallery with their unique San art.

All the Basarwa artists in the competition come from the Gantsi region and they competed under the painting and printmaking categories. Even though there is only one winner, Thamae Kaashe in the printmaking category, other Basarwa participants have now experienced what it is like to participate at national level and also express their lifestyle to the world.

Most of the Basarwa art depicts their lifestyle as nomadic hunters and also showcases their interaction with the environment mainly wild animals. One of the artists, Kgakgamme Tshabue produced a painting that shows harmony between animals like porcupines and jackals. While their lifestyle has been altered by modernisation, Tshabue’s colourful painting shows that animals still harmonise in their own environment.

While Basarwa show their tradition of healing through dancing around the fire, one of the artists Xaga Xau

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Xau’s artwork is vividly expressive and shows mythological stories about San holy men and how they connected with the spirit world.

Another artist, Tomas Xham painted the secretary bird, which he calls Nqaa tshobe in his language. Just like other painters, Xham shows how the terrestrial bird of prey interrelates with its environment. More painters like Ogogae Cau Xao, Nxhatwe Kaashe, Boitumelo Thamae and Cgoma Simon continue appreciation for wild animals as a source of survival.

Other Basarwa artists like Qhaqhoo Xare, Xgaiga Qomatoa and Jan Toega John also participated in the printmaking category but in the end Kaashe beat them to the first prize. He showed that despite modernisation the lifestyle still allows them to harmonise with animals. In the craft categories specifically tapestry, Xonxae Qubi also from Gantsi won the second prize of P8,000.

Apart from Basarwa artworks, toughest categories like painting was hardly contested for but in the end Tshepo Salobati from Molepolole walked away with the P10,000 first prize. Thabo Keorapetse retained his first prize by winning the photography category.

Kearapetse, who likes capturing old people with his creative lens, once again shot the portrait of an old man and shows his aged skin in graphic details. Mqondisi Ndlovu won the first prize in the drawing category while Lebogang Keitshokile won the sculpture category.

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