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BONGI DUBE (article first published : 2004-07-25)

Artist and entrepreneur Bongi Dube (32) has used her astute business skills and creative abilities to secure a five-year contract, painting 60 oil paintings of the nation’s leaders for a series of corporate calendars for The South African Breweries Limited (SAB).

Owner of Bongi Art Design and Screen-printing in Umlazi in KZN, she earns a living specialising in signage, graphic design, business cards and banners. However, she feeds her creative appetite through painting human portraits ranging from docile babies to powerful sangomas. She also sculpts and her works have been displayed in Durban and Namibia.

Bongi Dube describes her task of painting oil paintings of famous South African icons for the SAB as a refreshing change from her usual job of designing corporate signage. The wall and desk calendars are in line with the company’s ongoing theme of leadership and will be distributed to SAB employees as well as major stakeholders.

Her relationship with SAB began almost two years ago when she won a R40,000 grant after participating in the 2002 SAB Kick Start Entrepreneurial Programme, one of the biggest entrepreneurial projects in the private sector.

She invested the money in her business and used her knowledge and mentorship gained from the programme to her advantage, growing from a small-scale screen-printing company into a successful enterprise that attracts individual, government and corporate contracts.

“I am proud to be selected to paint the portraits of South African icons who have not only been inspirational leaders but have also affected positive changes in all sectors, including art,” says Bongi. “Through this contract, SAB has given me the opportunity to express myself through my art and has opened the doors for me to take my business to a new level.”

Tony van Kralingen, SAB managing director says: “We at SAB believe that the arts are fundamental to our nation’s cultural arena. Through the development of entrepreneurship in our Kick Start Programme, we not only contribute to keeping the arts alive, but also develop strong, lasting business relationships in the communities in which we operate.”




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