Gerard Sekoto award winner 2017: Banele Khoza
On Wednesday 13 September 2017, Ambassador of France to South Africa, H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, attended the 2017 L’Atelier art awards in Johannesburg.
For the past 14 years the Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa, the Alliance Française network and the South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA) have sponsored the Gerard Sekoto award at the annual L’Atelier awards.
The award is offered to the most promising South African artist with an income of less than R60 000 per year.
South African artist Gerard Sekoto (1913-1993) spent 40 years in France in voluntary exile from apartheid. He was a painter, self-taught pianist, musician and composer.
Ambassador Farnaud presented the annual Gerard Sekoto award to South African artist Banele Khoza for his work entitled Note Making. Khoza, 23, obtained his National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria. In 2015 and 2016 he was a top 100 finalist in the L’Atelier competition.
Mr. Khoza, through sketches done with a stylus on his tablet, questions what it means to be a man in South Africa: "Male nudity and vulnerability is still something that isn’t vastly portrayed in media today and, with this body of work, I have allowed myself to be vulnerable by expressing my thoughts and feelings, which are easily decipherable to a patient eye".
In his speech, Ambassador Farnaud spoke about the importance of art, globally but also in Africa: "Art is diversity, art is creativity and art is freedom. It’s a way to make life better".
Mr. Khoza will receive French lessons through the Alliance Française, a three-month residency at the Cité International des Arts in Paris and a solo exhibition in the Alliance Française network in South Africa and its partnering galleries.
To see Banele Khoza’s winning work, watch this video:
Previous Gerard Sekoto award winners: Matete Motubatse (2016), Natalie Moore (2015), Mbavhalelo Nekhavhambe (2014), Mongezi Ncaphayi (2013), Bambo Sibiya (2012), Isabel Mertz (2011), Bongumenzi Ngobese (2010), Nyaniso Lindi (2009), Retha Ferguson (2008), Nina Barnett (2007), Nomusa Makhubu (2006), Lawrence Lemoana (2005) and Billie Zangewa (2004).