Art Exhbition: The Right to Life – Aids is not the end

As the city of Durban gears up to host the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) at the ICC on 18-22 July 2016, the African Art Centre is using this opportunity to provide a platform for local visual artists to express their voices. The Centre will simultaneously mount an exhibition of selected artworks at the Global Village Expo at the Durban Exhibition Centre and the African Art Centre.

Having been in operation for the more than 50 years, the Centre sees it crucial to provide a platform of expression to its artists allowing them to comment on social issues affecting our country and the global community. The title and theme of the exhibition concurs with Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights stating that every human being has the inherent right to life.  The African Art Centre and its artists truly believe that everyone has a right to life – a life of dignity and hope as will be depicted in this exhibition.

A group of nine artists were invited to interpret the AIDS conference theme through 2-dimensional works on paper and on canvas. The group is comprised of both established and upcoming local Durban artists. The group was encouraged to work on a medium of choice while creating a sense of hope and dignity to those individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Sibusiso Duma (1977) is a reputable Durban artist living in Ntuzuma Township; his work is available in major private and public collections. This artist executed his paintings in acrylic with his fine painterly pointillism technique on a bright background. Duma’s work features figurative silhouettes interacting with one another on large canvas surfaces; this is his own representation of men and women in our society.

Joseph Manana (1963) is no stranger to the art industry; he has been practicing since the 1990s. His series of canvases reflects his signature technique of painting in vibrant colours with atmospheric landscape backgrounds, a sense of life, love, joy and happiness permeates throughout his work.

Welcome Danca (1978) produced a series of oil paintings executed in a simplified semiabstract technique depicting women and children in our society. In his statement, Danca reminds us of the need to protect and keep women and children safe and to allow them to prosper in life.

Zakhele Hlabisa (1987) is one of our young upcoming artists hailing from Mtubatuba in Zululand. This multitalented young man enjoys painting in acrylic and exploring various social themes through painting. His figurative paintings are executed in an almost realistic technique that compels the viewer to be emotionally involved in his work.  

Xolile Mazibuko (1984), the only female artist in the group, refers to herself as a profoundly spiritual person and a follower of the Shembe faith. She has articulated the exhibition theme based on her experience as a young black women and a member of the Shembe Church.  

Sabastien Pillay is the youngest participant; this will be the second time for him to showcase work at the African Art Centre. Pillay has worked in his favourite pen and ink on paper medium.

Lalelani Mbhele (1975), is a well known multi disciplinary artist working in acrylics, oils, hand drawn and painted illustrations and for completing a number of mural painting commissions across the city of Durban. His current work is executed in his favourite humorous illustrative technique mainly encouraging the viewer to have a positive outlook in life.

The Centre cordially invites the public to attend the exhibition opening on Thursday 14 July 2016 at 17:30 for 18:00. The exhibition will end on 30 July 2016.

For more details contact the African Art Centre on 031 312 3804/5 or email


About the African Art Centre:

The African Art Centre is a fine art and crafts centre with a gallery and a retail outlet.  Our core work focusses on artist development, showcase and growing the creative economy.

The African Art Centre was initiated in 1959 by the Natal Region of the South African Institute for Race Relations.

Role of the African Art Centre during the Apartheid Era:

  • Medium of communication in a divided society
  • Worked towards bringing people with common interests together
  • Public showcase of African artists and crafters

In 1984, the African Art Centre was registered as a non profit section 21 company

AAC Recognizes and addresses: 

  • The problems of unemployment
  • The socio-economic consequences of South Africa’s history
  • The need for all people to have the opportunity to work and earn a living
  • The intrinsic value of human dignity achieved through being able to work
  • The need to kindle and stimulate self-motivation through acquired skills
  • The need for personal gain and development to be linked as directly possible to personal effort - self-sustaining and economically


Creating an enabling environment for the sustainable development, promotion and preservation of African arts and crafts with special focus on KwaZulu-Natal.


  • To provide a platform for training and development
  • To provide an outlet for promoting and selling works done by KZN artists and crafters
  • To create jobs and a sustainable income for KZN artists and crafters
  • To provide a professional space for young and established artists and crafters to exhibit
  • To discover, encourage and nurture works of creativity, originality and the highest quality
  • To communicate and document traditional and contemporary trends in local arts and crafts
  • To preserve our cultural heritage