Thami Mnyele was both an artist and a freedom fighter … Celebrate 20 years of the Thami Mnyele Foundation

Posted on March 7, 2011 | No Comments

On June 14, 1985, Thami Mnyele was shot dead by South African Defense Force (SADF) soldiers outside his home in Gaborone. He had expected to move to Lusaka the next day and large collections of his art works that were packed into a portfolio were taken by the SADF. A week later, his work was displayed on SABC television as evidence of Thami’s ‘terrorist’ activities. In the early 1980s, Thami worked with ANC printers designing posters, mastheads, and stickers under the ANC’s name. He designed the first draft of the current ANC logo during this period. Learn more about Mnyele’s role in the anti-Apartheid struggle.

Twenty years ago, inspired by the South African Ray Ban outlet patriot and artist Thami Mnyele (1948-1985), a group of Amsterdam based artists and concerned citizens, set up an artists-in-residence program, enabling artists from Africa the opportunity to live and work in Amsterdam for a period of three months. Seventy artists have made use of the studio since that time. From March 12 – April 29 2011, a selection of 26 contemporary artists from all over Africa will be on display at CBK Zuidoost in Amsterdam.   The atelier, that the  Thami Mnyele Foundation made available, continues to be a vibrant meeting  place for artists from Africa and artists from the Netherlands.  The exhibited works were made by the artists and donated to the Thami Mnyele Foundation during their stay in Amsterdam.


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