Press Release. An African Christmas

The African Art Centre will be opening its annual Christmas Exhibition on Thursday, 11 November 2016. This year’s exhibition, titled “An African Christmas”, will feature a wide range of affordable handcrafted beaded, wood carved, telephone wire and embroidered ornaments produced by artists and crafters from the KwaZulu-Natal region.   

Since its inception in 1959, one of the Centre’s core objectives has been to facilitate development projects to enhance the creative skills of our crafters and artists. The new direction of the Centre to make our craft more contemporary whilst keeping the African aesthetic has become the focus of a development project precursoring the 2016 Christmas exhibition.  This year’s new design theme “An African Christmas” breaks away from the traditional Christmas look and draws inspiration from contemporary vibrant African textile designs.

Crafters who have contributed towards this years celebratory African Christmas exhibition include: Happiness Dladla, Dumsile Mathe, Thokozane Mathe, Ntombi Mbambo, Mavis Jali, Nqobile Jeza, Tholani Mchunu, Ntombizonke Hlambisa, Maningi Mbonambi, Hlengiwe Mbhele, Mbaliyethu Mabuza, Ntokozo Mseleku, Sphindile Nkosi, Widus Mtshali, Sibusiso Gumede, Bheki Mkhumbuzi, Sibusiso Maphumulo, Phumlani Mbhele, Jabulani Mkhize and Vincent Tshulupi.

The opening of “An African Christmas” combines visual energy with the dynamic sounds of composer and performer of the unique township style music, Sazi Dlamini.  Sazi’s music highlights indigenous KZN music genres such as maskandi, mbaqanga and isicathamiya.  He has recently been presented with a Living Legend award by eThekwini municipality.

The public is invited to enter the festive season in a proudly South African style while supporting our local crafters at “An African Christmas” exhibition.


The exhibition will open on Thursday, 11 November 2016.  For additional information, please contact the African Art Centre on 031 303 4634,  or visit at 94 Florida Road, Morningside.



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