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2021 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards Winners Announced

Posted on 14 October 2021

Thabang Lehobye was announced as the 2021 First Prize winner for his animated video titled "Fragments of Memories". The Ekurhuleni Prize went to Sethembiso Zulu from Vorsloorus, Ekurhuleni for a series of photographs titled "Ngithunywe YiS'thunywa". The official announcement of winners took place on 8 October 2021 during a hybrid live event and was lived streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Lehobye brings the Joburg inner city to life as he explores the rooftops, buildings and people that characterize the city's metamorphic qualities. He experiments with various stop motion techniques using acrylics and charcoal. Ekurhuleni Prize winner Zulu's work explores the artists own experience of learning about his ancestral gift. It explores the healer's journey of turmoil and mystery whilst learning about their spirituality.

The Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards (TMFAA) began in 1987 as the Kempton Park and Tembisa Fine Arts Awards. They were later renamed after the late resistance artist Harry Thamsanqa "Thami" Mnyele whose final resting place is in Tembisa. Mnyele was a freedom fighter who utilised art as a tool of expression and communication during the struggle for liberation from apartheid. He died in exile in Botswana in 1985.

The competition caters for artists from 18 years and above, from all over South Africa, producing various media of artworks. The first prize winner receives R100 000 and the Ekurhuleni prize winner receives R65 000. There is an additional prize for the Lizamore and Associates Mentorship Programme and Solo Exhibition and a new August House Emerging Residency Artist Award which includes a 3-month residency at August House, Johannesburg.

This year's Lizamore and Associates Solo Exhibition & Mentorship Prize was awarded to Nono Morlhoki. The prize includes a 6-month mentorship programme and a solo exhibition at the Lizamore and Associates Gallery. The August House Emerging Artist Residency Artist Award prize was awarded to Jessica Frohlich for her work titled "Metamorphosis". Another special award given this year was The Honorable mention Award which is awarded to an artist who the adjudicators have seen future potential. Sienad Fletcher from Boksburg was awarded the R10 000 prize money for an installation work titled "Disassociation".

Over 460 entries were received online for the national competition, of which half of the entries were from the City of Ekurhuleni. Out of these, 100 artworks were selected to be in the virtual exhibition. The online exhibition will run from 08 October 2021 on www.tmfaa.ekurhuleni.gov.za.

The adjudicators for the 2021 Thami Mnyele Fine Arts Awards competition were:

  • Sizwe Khoza - 2019 First Prize Winner
  • Molemo Moiloa Gapare - Artist and Curator
  • Colbert Mashile - Artist, Lecturer and Curator
  • Gordon Froud - Lecture, adjudicated provincial and national art competitions and an accomplished Curator and Artist
  • Aysha Waja - Independent Curator & Artist Mentor

Thabang Lehobye, Fragments of Memory, Animated video, 2:56 min

Sethembiso Zulu, Ngithunywe YiS'thunywa (Series)

Motlhoki Nono, Lenyalo, Printmaking, 50cm x 70cm

Jessica Frohlich, Metamorphosize, Ball point pen, 80cm x 186cm

Jessica Frohlich, Metamorphosize, Ball point pen, 80cm x 186cm

Sinead Fletcher, Disassociation, Installation, 230cm x 90cm x 90cm


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