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IZINYAWO (article first published : 2005-07-17)

Richard Loring's African Footprint -South Africa's longest-running and award-winning Musical Production, is now the proud owner of one of the fibreglass cows that have been gracing major cities as part of the highly successful Cow Parade fundraising initiative in aid of CHOC (Childhood Foundation South Africa). The initiative culminated in an auction held recently in Johannesburg which raised well over R1 million.

Companies and private individuals were encouraged to sponsor a cow and then to commission a local artist to create a unique design for their specific cow, thus creating "an art exhibition with a difference". Not only was a worthwhile cause going to benefit from the initiative but the diverse talents of undiscovered South African artists would be brought to the fore.

Richard Loring as well as the production team and cast of African Footprint jumped at the chance to get involved and agreed to sponsor one of these Cows - aptly named Izinyawo (Feet) - as part of the show's ongoing Social Responsibility Campaign, and thus "add a voice" to the campaign.

South African artists Japhter Soxhokashe and Sibulele Mtshabe from Tembisa were commissioned by Richard to creative Izinyawo's uniquely colourful and dynamic design. Japhter has had no formal art training, but has always had a love and passion for art. He attended art classes whenever he could to learn as much as he could, and in 1998 joined the Tembisa Art School to learn new skills and polish existing ones, and is now at a level where he can sell his works throughout the East Rand. Japhter painted Izinyawo under the guidance of, and with the help of one of his art teachers, Sibulele Mtshabe.

Sibulele is an artist from Tembisa. He started art classes in 1998 and has exhibited in the East Rand, with the aim of helping his community in art. He worked for Pro-Active Project Management as Art Project Co-ordinator and presently helps various schools in Tembisa on various art projects.

Both artists were thrilled at the opportunity to join forces with African Footprint. "Our design was inspired by the inspirational message of African Footprint, where various dances and cultures are fused together to give a modern taste in performance," says Sibulele.

Izinyawo now stands proudly outside the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom in Umhlanga, where local audiences are still enjoying African Footprint.

"It is really fitting that iZinyawo has joined us for the last few weeks of the run of African Footprint here at Sibaya." says General Manager, Melville Vogel, "The cow celebrates the great ‘foot traffic" into our theatre for the show and we are pleased to be supporting CHOC - a really worthwhile project ."

Izinyawo will welcome patrons to the iZulu Theatre until the end of July, when the show will be closing. Izinyawo will then travel overseas to Europe where the international cast of African Footprint are performing, and will travel with the show as its "little mascot"!

Seating for the remaining three weeks of African Footprint at Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom is limited, so book soon to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made with the Sibaya Bookings Office on 031 580 5555 or through Computicket.




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