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Many sides of Mandela

By Patience Bambalele | Oct 25, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 21 ]

THE controversial painting of Nelson Mandela's corpse being dissected by some of his political contemporaries is on display at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.

The painting is one among several by artist Yiull Damaso.

The exhibition was opened by Pitika Ntuli on Tuesday night and the painting fuelled a lot of discussion.

The huge piece titled The Night Watch, also contains the images of people such as Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Nkosi Johnson, Trevor Manuel and Desmond Tutu, among others.

The painting shows young Nkosi, who died of HIV-Aids in 2001, conducting the autopsy on a half-naked Mandela. The interesting part about the painting is how Mbeki is positioned.

While the others in the painting are watching closely as Nkosi carries out the autopsy, Mbeki is looking away.

"I put Mbeki in the corner because he has always distanced himself from HIV-Aids. He never cared about the country. We wanted answers and he was never there," the painter said.

Damaso is unapologetic about his message. He admits that he knew certain people would be unhappy with the painting .

"The painting is about what is happening in South Africa. What I am trying to say is that Mandela is a human being. He is flesh and blood. I was informed that in some people's cultures such iconography is highly offensive," he said.

Damaso explained that he decided to use Johnson to convey his message.

"Nkosi is showing the politicians and us that he made a difference at the age of 11. He is asking other leaders to explain what they are going to do?" he said.

Ntuli said people who do not understand art see the painting literally and imagine that Mandela is dead.

"This is a case of politicians versus imagination. It is a pity people do not understand that," the Ntuli said.

The Night Watch exhibition will be on at the bookshop opposite the Constitutional Court until October 31.


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@MsT...hey baby, il be out of office till thursday and wl return ka friday, love you n misd u
@KasiKid....ola skhokho,take care of my woman man
@Nanaga, risc,IceQueen,SnowBlack and others.....i will miss you guys

Oct 25, 2010 6:45 | 0 replies

Iyooo guys Are saw this maabane on morning live or is it called sunday live? yeah what ever!! but I think he cut have more cute ka madreadlocks....**smiling**

Oct 25, 2010 10:55 | 0 replies

Mandela in the first pic is portrayed as a normal and ordinary human being who has desires to maintain a certain appearance just like having dreadlocks.

Oct 25, 2010 11:11 | 0 replies

i like the pic,next time o mo style tsona.Damso keep up the good work for our hero.

Oct 25, 2010 11:26 | 0 replies

This artist does nt have respect 4 elders and other cultures"conducting the autopsy on a half-naked Mandela. Of cause is highly offensive. You bloody de agent

Oct 25, 2010 11:41 | 0 replies

@MEHLO Ahooi Jahman..

I remember one day on my dream,Madiba was a rastafarian puffing mariwana with big dread logs dansing a song from Culture..Joseph Hill (Stone).

Jah bless u Tata.

Oct 25, 2010 11:41 | 0 replies

Why doesnt this guy make paintings of Verwoed and other people?Hayi man we not saying he must not paint but the one with Nkosi is not cool coz Tata does not belong to him alone thats why some of us are bothered!

Oct 25, 2010 12:58 | 0 replies

Bakene tata ke rata ur sixpack o jana bana ka dat body

Oct 25, 2010 3:6 | 0 replies

The dreadlocks pic makes him look like Whoopi Goldberg.
Not Ayoba at all.

Oct 25, 2010 3:13 | 0 replies

plain stupit with a lot of time to play anyone can do this cut and paste adobe photoshop, the person who did this has time to play. viva the real madiba viva.

Oct 25, 2010 10:9 | 0 replies

Morning my fellow bloggers, I love u tata on second picture, with dreads is a big no.

Oct 25, 2010 9:46 | 0 replies