News Brief

The Late Nelson Mandela's Artwork Will be Auctioned Off in New York

'The Cell Door' is an artwork Nelson Mandela completed after he served his only term as the president of South Africa.


For the first time ever, one of Nelson Mandela's artworks will not only be displayed in public but also auctioned off by Bonhams. Following the end of his presidential tenure in 1999, Mandela took up drawing as a favorite pastime. Many of his drawings are depictions of the things he'd seen and endured during his 27-year imprisonment on Robben Island.


The Cell Door is almost childlike in its simplicity. The pastel drawing, completed in brown and purple wax crayons, depicts part of the anti-Apartheid veteran's tiny cell where he spent the majority of his time. The focus of the drawing is of course the cell door which is seen to be visibly locked by a key.

The drawing has been in the possession of one of Mandela's daughters, Pumla Makaziwe Mandela. According to the BBC Africa, she said, "I think for him, art was a good way of expressing himself or trying to come to terms with his history and his (I wouldn't want to say) demons but just coming to terms with his whole life."

The artwork will be auctioned off today in New York and is expected to fetch as much as 90 000 USD. Speaking about the prized artwork, the director of the auction house's modern African art, Giles Peppiatt, said:

"The word 'iconic' is so overused but to have a drawing of one of the most important men of the 20th century… would be a remarkable thing...It was a very personal, very poignant work for him."
popular

Listen to 10 Great Songs From Johnny Clegg

Here are some of the best songs to remember South Africa's son of the soil.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that South African musician, Johnny Clegg, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Understandably, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in ever since. Long before it was cool (or even legal) to be in close proximity to blackness and anything attached to it in South Africa, Clegg, a white man, was doing just that. That is exactly why he was given the endearing title of South Africa's "son of the soil."

Growing up during Apartheid, Clegg was taught how to speak the Zulu language by a domestic worker named Charlie Mzila. In his teenage years, his appreciation for the Zulu culture continued and he soon learnt the traditional dance styles known as isishameni and also learnt how to play the Maskandi guitar. Clegg's music was a beacon of light during a very dark time in South Africa's history and his songs about Nelson Mandela (at a time where songs were banned for merely mentioning the name of the late statesman and other key struggle activists) brought the country together.

It is irrefutable that a music giant has fallen. However, Clegg leaves behind a wealth of music featuring other great South African artists and groups such as Zakwe, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Juluka/Suvuka, among several others. His music undeniably brought South Africans and people all around the world together.

We've picked ten of our favorite songs from the late musician's discography in honor of a life that was lived to the fullest.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Stonebwoy in "Tuff Seed"

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Stonebwoy, Mahmoud Ahmed, Tiwa Savage x Zlatan, Africa Express, Juls x Mr Eazi and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading... Show less
Style

Beyoncé Wore These 2 African Designers in Her Music Video for 'Spirit'

Queen Bey continues to include and give a nod to African talent in her visuals.

As we draw even closer to Disney's The Lion King opening in theaters this week, Beyoncé continues to lead the way with her new music video for "Spirit"—the first single off of the film's album she produced and curated, The Lion King: The Gift.

Shot in the Havasu Falls in Arizona's Grand Canyon, Beyoncé and her legion of beautiful dancers are one with nature and its various elements as she beckons us to be brave and hear the calling of spirit. As we noted when she announced the album, the track opens with a call and response in Swahili that translates to "Long live the king": Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme—uishi kwa.

Keeping our eyes peeled for African influences in the music video, it's evident that is seen in the choreography. We even spotted our extended fam with the afrobeats moves—the AVO Boys: Stephen Ojo and Caleb Bonney—as two of her dancers in the video.

Beyoncé continues to also give a nod to African talent through the looks she donned in "Spirit" styled by her mainstay, Zerina Akers.

Take a look at the two African designers she wore in the video below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.