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Book raises issues about artists’ recognition

bookMohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — South African poet and self-taught freelance graphic designer Bandile Magibili published his first book that has concerns regarding recognition of black artists. 2 B Black is a book that explores the concept of black struggle, its history and the challenges the artists face.

In this book, Magibili bring forth the artistic work of Hastings Mqhayi who he believes he was done injustice in South Africa in regard to his work of prose. 2 B Black comprises Mqhayi’s 19 paintings and their meaning, so as the two logos he designed. Mqhayi is an artist of the apartheid era, who Magibili says has not been given credit for his work.

Mqhayi contributed in the design of the South African national flag so as the last stanzas of the national anthem but was never mentioned, let alone given the acknowledgement he deserves. “I do not consider myself an author or intending to be recognised as one. “I perceive that as a way to dilute the truth just to manipulate the interest of someone possessing financial power or an agenda to push.

“I am not trying to provoke any tension, I just felt obliged and felt it was only essential to document our heroes and celebrate them while they are still alive. “It won’t be of any use if they are dead because they will not see or hear of the good work one did about them,” Magibili told the ExpressPeople in an interview on Tuesday.

Magibili the book was inspired by the artistic work of Mqhayi and only found it fit to bring him to the attention of people because he has remained in the shadow of his creativity. “There is always that person who stimulates that burning desire. “There are so many in my life but in this book I talk about I an artist I regard highly.

“Mqhayi has become the best inspiration and has greatly influenced my art career, fuelling my creative juices and this made my heart a territory of generosity.” The author further said that he believes paintings have a greater impact in passing a message. He made an example of the President Jacob Zuma’s paintings saying, “A guy just paints a naked picture of our president and without uttering any word, he has the rest of the world talking about it”.

He concluded: “I hope that my enduring vision of restoring value and significance of arts will be taken into consideration and appreciated.” Magibili will be working with Sheila Khala on a poetry tour to take place in South Africa. They met at MACUFE (Mangaung Arts and Cultural Festival) Poetry Festival and have graced Lesotho’s entertainment arena once at Poetry is Alive show which was held in August.

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