Cape Flats artists launch magazine

| Pharie Sefali
Visual art performers performing at an event. Photo by Motswako magazine.

A group of young artists are putting their creativity on the map. They have launched a magazine called Motswako, which means ‘mixture’ or ‘diversity’.

Formed in November 2013 and compiled by various artists in Khayelitsha and the surrounding townships, it publishes poems, photographs, paintings and drawings.

Kamohelo Ramaipato, one of the production team, says Motswako is the first of its kind in Khayelitsha.

“The role of the magazine is to give young artists a platform to display their work”, he says.

Ramaipato claims people in Khayelitsha and black culture in general do not embrace the arts. He says artists have limited opportunities and struggle to find resources and funding.

“In order for artists in the township to get exposure and appreciation they have to perform in places like town [the City] and in clubs. This means that our people in the township do not understand our talents and so are reluctant to support us.”

“When the work of the artist is not showcased, an artist ends up having doubts about his talent and the work he produces”.

“We are trying to show others that Khayelitsha is a talented township. And we are trying to eliminate the idea that Khayelitsha’s youth are gangsters or criminals”.

“The beauty of this magazine is that none of the [contributors] are trained writers or artists. They came from different high schools and sections of Khayelitsha,” he says.

Motswako magazine also hosts events for artists to perform in Khayelitsha.

Funds are shared amongst the contributors. There are no donors at present, and the magazine has to sustain itself through sales.

Ramaipato says the University of Fort Hare and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University have bought copies of the magazine. The magazine is also available in some bookshops in Cape Town.

For more information about Motswako Magazine:
Email: motswakomag [at]
Contact: 079 360 0594/ 072 861 4911

TOPICS:  Arts and culture Education Society

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