Capturing the power of Africa’s women

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Joe Machingura

Cape Town – A few years ago, the “Me Too” movement took the world by storm as women and women’s rights campaigners amped the ante in the fight against sexual abuse.

The foundation of that movement was the over-sexualised portrayal of women in and by society, with the arts taking centre stage in redefining roles and rights.

“Me Too” still pops up in the new here and there, but as with many celebrity-driven social agendas, it has lost much of its zing.

For others, the battle for women’s rights is not a flavour of the month fad; it is an everyday reality and remains central to their existence.

This is the case with Mboneni Fakudze, an artiste from Eswatini who is based in South Africa.

Take his abstract painting titled “The Soil”, for example, which boldly speaks of the dignity of womanhood.

“The theme of this artwork is around the general theme of my work which is the portrayal of the woman as mother and figure of dignity and honour,” said Fakudze in a recent interview with The Southern Times Arts.

Fakudze says his work is inspired by what he terms the “powerful African faces of women”.

“I come from a very matriarchal family, where my mother was the engine and the one who sustained our well- being. I have a very powerful mother and as such that image of a powerful woman never leaves me.”

Fakudze’s passion for painting was triggered when he was in high school, where art and creativity were encouraged.

The passion grew into a career, and today his work is internationally recognised and he has mounted several critically acclaimed exhibitions across Southern African.

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