21 April 2019


Bodibe artist wishes to give his work to Obama 

by: Nthusang Lefafa   date: 06 july 2018

When former US President, Barack Obama, arrives in South Africa in a few days’ time, there are many people who wish to see him, even if it’s on television. 
But there’s one rural artist who is pleading for anyone who can, to ensure that he meets Obama in person. This is because Guilty Maanoane - an artist from Bodibe outside Itsoseng - says he wants to present Obama with some work of art that he has done as part of Tata Nelson Mandela’s centennial celebrations.
Maanoane has been doing art for 20 years and his work include paintings and sculptures of prominent struggle stalwarts such as Mandela, Jacob Zuma, John Beaver Marks and Mama Abertina Sisulu.
Maanoane explains his work of art as a spiritual calling and God-given talent.  
“These works come to me in my dreams and then I do my work. I have met Black Consciousness activists like Malcom X, JB Marks and Tata Nelson Mandela in my dreams and they talk to me. I do not just wake up and do this work, I am guided by a higher power.
“Recently, I dreamt about Tata Nelson Mandela asking me why I had not attended an exhibition of his work in Johannesburg. I told him that it was due to lack of funding. He went on to tell me that I should not worry because government is there to fund us as black people,” he said. 
Maanoane told Semphete that he was inspired to work on former US president Barack Obama because Tata Nelson Mandela told him that people will be coming from overseas and he must present them with his work.
“I have done a painting on Barack Obama, which is yet to be completed. I have also done a rock painting on a limestone, which represents our heritage as people of Bodibe. I would like assistance from the relevant stakeholders so that I can meet Obama and present him with these gifts,” he said. 
Maanoane said some of the challenges that he encounters as an artist are funding related. 
“I sometimes struggle to buy my art material because I come from a rural area. I also need exposure so that I can network with big art galleries so that they can see my work and it can be taken to other countries.”
Some of the notable work he has done is with the Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs (Cata) of a water fountain at the Capture Site of Jacob Zuma in Groot Marico, busts of Nelson Mandela, Mama Albertina Sisulu, and current ANC Provincial Chairperson, Supra Mahumapelo.
Maanoane has done formal training in drawing and painting at the Mmabana Foundation in Mmabatho from 1996 to 1998. He also did practicals at the Africa Cultural Centre in Newtown. During his stay in Johannesburg, he has done paintings of celebrated radio presenters such as Glen Lewis, Thato Sikwane (known as DJ Fresh) and Sibusiso Leope (Dj Sbu).
Maanoane also gives back to his community through art. 
“I am involved in the training of youths in my village. I want to help the youth fight the scourge of drug abuse and remove them from the streets,” he said. 
The talented artist is also working with five convicted criminals in Bodibe to help reintegrate them back into the society.
“It is only through our talents that we can assist the youths in our communities in order to keep them out of prison,” said Maanoane
He was born on 14 June 1976, two days prior to the Soweto Uprising.
“My future plans include establishing art schools for the youth in villages who do not have access to many opportunities like those in the cities. I also want to archive the history of South Africa so that those who are visiting from foreign countries can learn about our rich heritage.”
Maanoane calls out to government to engage with their rural communities because there are a lot of talented people out there and many opportunities for tourism.
He is an adrenalin junkie who loves bungee jumping, mountain hiking and wishes to visit a ski resort in Switzerland one day.