Ndebele Foundation

Ndebele Foundation was started with the involvement of Francinah Ndimande, a well-known Ndebele artist in the village of Mabhoko. The aim of the foundation is to provide rural women in the village with the means to revive the creative spirit of their forebears. Training women and youth decreases social burdens, increases family incomes and enhances quality of life.

Mural paintings represent a demonstration of ethnic sovereignty by the Ndebele women, which is handed down from mother to daughter. Unlike Western art, Ndebele art does not involve a Western sense of aesthetics nor painting for acclaim – a woman’s life is her canvas and represents her intimate relationship with home and community.

Commercial interests are appropriating Ndebele designs and ownership of their art will slip from the hands of the few remaining craftswomen if there is not an immediate effort to retain their heritage. There is a need to preserve Ndebele culture and adapt it to changing world circumstances. At the same time, it is crucially important to train the next generation in this vital art form of their forebears. With the help and vision of photojournalist Margaret Courtney-Clark, a non-profit organisation (the Ndebele Foundation) was established in order to train and inspire the continuation of this artistic heritage and to ensure long term benefits to the women, the young girls and the Ndebele people as a whole.

A visit to Ndebele Foundation Centre will allow you to:

  • Participate in the creation of Ndebele Art;
  • Meet renowned artists and see how they live; and
  • Shop for authentic works of art or place orders from a catalogue.

Stay overnight in the centre’s B&B with cooking facilities and a shop filled with authentic Ndebele artworks.

*This participant is a member of the Africa Craft Trust.

Share this: