Exhibition Opening: Umlindelo wamaKholwa, Sabelo Mlangeni

If you happen to be in Jozi today then make a plan to get the opening of Umlindelo wamaKholwa (Night Vigil of the Believers) by prize-winning South African photographer, Sabelo Mlangeni. Through the images on display, Mlangeni explores his personal experiences as a member of the Zionist Christian community in rural Mpumalanga and Johannesburg.

At just 28 years old, Mlangeni has already made a name for himself in the art world. In 2006, he was the recipient of the Edward Ruiz Mentorship. He has also been awarded both a silver and bronze in the documentary category of the Fujifilm Southern Africa Photographic Awards.

Working exclusively in black and white, Mlangeni’s photographs seem to have a touch of the historical to them. “History is an important part of my work,” he explains, “especially in my own country where apartheid was abolished just two decades ago.”.

In 2012, Mlangeni produced a series of photographs entitled Limbali, which looked at the historic reed dances in KwaZulu-Natal and Swaziland. The reed dance, which takes place in September every year, is an historical event in which unmarried women bring reeds to rebuild the Queen’s home and pay allegiance to her. It’s a rite of passage that forges commonality in the community, although it’s perhaps better known as the King’s opportunity to choose a new wife.

Umlindelo wamaKholwa opens this evening at the Wits Art Museum (WAM) at 18h30. For further information visit the Facebook page of WAM.

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