Sunday, January 24, 2010


The 87 year old artist (sculptor) passed away last week wednesday.Hlungwane had a very excentric personality to say the least.His reputation as outgoing and offbeat and definitely c had merit.About a year ago I was in Vendaland where I had the chance to meet the somewhat of a rural legend.It definitely was a memorable experience.Our guide who navigated us along the Venda Artists route said that the route no longer included Hlugwane ,as most tourist did not know what to make of his peculiar ramblings.As we arrived at Hlungwane's fort, I was greeted with statements such as "You should have 12 babies",which is apparently a usual comment.Hlungwane communicated in an excited manner telling stories about a huge sacred treeas well as about God in an innovative way which would make it diffucult for someone to defend his sanity.

The artist has exhibited internationaly,and definitely had a name recognizable by anyone with a bit of knowledge about African rural art,and hence could be regarded as sucessful.Yet,despite the sucess of his career,I found Hlugwane contently sitting under a tree in front of his house,enjoying a simple life,smokig his pipe (containing herbs that would only increase his excentricity),and not allowing the outside world to interfear.
It was definitely obvious that he was also a bit of a showman, enjoying entertaining and dazzling his visitors.I took photos of the venda legend with my Holga, for which he comfortably posed as he would for all the other gizillion tourist that had stopped by in the past .

Here are two of my Holga shots of Hlungwane...

I think Hlungwane was poiting at me here,instructing me
to "have 12 babies"! No kidding.

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