Mandela Day: Arts Innovation in Alexandra


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Collaboration with Greater Alexandra Tourism and Heritage Association (GATHA), unsung community heroes, will use creative arts to promote socio-economic development

Johannesburg, 17 July 2019. The Ichikowitz Family Foundation(IFF) is proud to announce its collaboration with the Greater Alexandra Tourism and Heritage Association (GATHA) that will see the creation of arts initiatives, in support of GATHA’S efforts to promote tourism and heritage to bolster socio-economic empowerment across communities in Alexandra township.

In the spirit of Mandela Day, the Ichikowitz Family Foundation launches a programme to support GATHA with the donation of hundreds of artworks to schools and community groups in Alexandra Township in the coming months. The schools and community organizations identified by GATHA will be able to use these artworks to raise funds for their own programmes.

Alexandra, known as Gomorrah Johannesburg’s oldest Township, is a hidden gem, famous for President Nelson Mandela’s first home in Gauteng. GATHA’s work promotes experiences of the oldest and first township where the late Nelson Mandela lived in the early 1940s, when he was still practicing as a lawyer. 

A key objective of GATHA is to empower community organisations, whether in drug prevention, eco-tourism or food security, to become sustainable. Raising money to facilitate self-sufficiency is a key priority.

For the IFF, the artworks are a dynamic vehicle to stimulate learning and creative conversations around the challenges that communities face. For school children, this initiative affords teachers to use these art works as educational material in the classrooms. Together with GATHA, schools and community organisations will have the opportunity to use the GATHA’s reach and assets to drive positive changes.



  9:30 Meet at Alex Mall and visit Art Gallery.

10:00 Ikage School (Primary school)

11:00 CTC College (Central Technical College)

11:30 Woman for Peace and crèche for disabled kids

12:00 Alex Museum and Mandela Yard

13:00  Sika Culinary Lunch and Art Gallery

14:30 Vuka Skhokho Foundation

15:30 Programme ends

The donation of artworks forms part of the The Ichikowitz Heritage Art Collection, one of the largest collections of its kind comprising works from South African and African artists spanning four decades.  The Collection is premised on the belief that art can be used as a motivating tool to build life skills and community cohesion. A series of exhibitions by the Foundation position visual art as a catalyst for dialogue and nation building. An example of this arts initiative was Art Crosses Borders – Conversations, that explored the borders of Xenophobia in 2015 at the height of xenophobic conflict in the township.

Ivor Ichikowitz, Chairman of the Ichikowitz Family Foundation said:  “It’s an honor to support GATHA’s programmes to equip young philanthropists, entrepreneurs and social activists with the inspiration, skills and tools to be effective and positive agents of change.

“We must not kid ourselves: we’re still going through a healing process in this country and the creative arts has a huge role to play in building skills and confidence among Africans and in spreading our good news stories. We can never forget that Nelson Mandela’s legacy still inspires millions of people around the world who are still fighting for the very rights and values that he stood for. Rights and values that we cannot take for granted, every day. Nelson Mandela asks of us all to respect the key standards that underpin successful societies”.

Paul Maluleke, from GATHA said: “The partnership between the IFF and GATHA will spark human connections, and work towards breaking down our township’s social divides. Through innovative mediums, such as arts and culture, we can get people talking about community issues and solutions – and then make them happen. Nelson Mandela’s legacy inspires us to make every day a Mandela Day and that’s at the heart of GATHA’s mandate.”

In the spirit of Mandela Day, we invite media, stakeholders, partners to join us as we trace one of GATHA TOURISM ROUTES and begin the handover 3000 paintings to a range of schools and community groups in Alexandra Township.


WHEN: 18 July 2019, 9.30am

WHERE: Route begins at Alex Mall

  CHICKEN LICKEN London Rd, Far East Bank, Sandton, 2014


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