In our small corner of Johannesburg is a shop that I absolutely love. Art Africa stocks the amazing creative work done by small communities in rural areas. A lot of these community projects had little exposure in the larger world,and this shop gives them an outlet and a chance for customers to discover their work.
Over the years Art Africa has gone from strength to strength, moved to bigger premises a few door down and is always busy. They have subsequently opened two more outlets in Umhlanga in Kwazulu Natal and in Knysna in the Western Cape.
Here you can find sculptures, beadwork, amazing Christmas tree decorations, homewares, jewelry, furniture and much much more. To walk into the shop is to be assaulted by a rainbow of colour. In order to focus on items you almost have to go into the store wearing blinkers.
The staff in the shop are wonderful, they have taken my children into their hearts and always have time to ask how the studies are going and how we all are.
When I decided to write this post, I went down to the shop to scout out the stock As I walked around, I realised that this would be the ideal post for this day, the day Nelson Mandela’s state funeral takes place. And as I can’t possibly feature all the items for sale, I decided to feature the angels. I walked around spotting angels everywhere. When I thought I was done, I’d see another one. From brightly colored felt and bead creations to carved wood sculptures with sunglasses, the range covers all possible materials and styles.
While I don’t believe Madiba was an angel, he set an extraordinary example to the world and was a leader who was in touch with his people. Living in a times when politicians have forgotten who put them in office (the people) and exactly what their jobs are (to run the country on behalf of the people), I guess the common touch makes any politician almost angelic. Here’s to Mandela’s ideals of peace and reconciliation in the world!
Art Africa does not have a website. You have to physically go to the shop.
Tyrone Avenue, Parkview Johannesburg