Fri Jul 01 22:43:01 SAST 2016

Set of stamps honours Alex

By Mamodima Monnakgotla | Nov 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 8 ]

ARTISTS who were residents or had close ties with Alexandra township have stamped their artistic mark on its 100th anniversary.

The South African Post Office has issued a souvenir folder with five stamps made up of the artists' work in celebration of the township's centenary.

The five-stamp set costs R33 from post offices with philatelic counters.

Alexandra, also known as Gomorra, was proclaimed a "native township" in 1912. Located near Sandton, Johannesburg, the township is rife with poverty and crime, and has a population of about 470,000 people.

Alexandra has also been home to former president Nelson Mandela, the late musician Mahlathini Nkabinde of Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Isaac "Shakes" Kungwane and seasoned actor Israel "Ma-Orange" Makoe.

Another original from the township is 27-year-old artist Sipho Gwala, pictured, whose "Alex Youth Collaborating" art piece has been included in the stamp collection.

"My drawing is about commemorating the youth of Alex who uplift the community. Last year, I attended one of the local youth workshops that challenged us mentally and physically, which gave me inspiration for my piece," said Gwala.

He has a diploma in fine art and is currently reading digital arts at Witwatersrand University. Gwala is also part of a nine-member group called Gom-Art Corellective, who are trying to raise funds for a neighbourhood art gallery.

For him, the stamps are a proud moment. "Alex has so much potential, but lacks resources. With this celebration, the young ones will see that there are opportunities in life if they put their minds to it."

Growing up, Gwala remembered being caught up in political struggle. "Back then there were always marches. The songs drew us into the activities and we would march and sing along, not understanding what it was all about."

He said people do not know much about Alexandra's history: "As an artist, I feel it is my responsibility to share it."


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This is cool.

Nov 13, 2012 8:18 | 0 replies

That's my kasi. Big uppss!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nov 13, 2012 8:31 | 0 replies

I was born in Alex grew in Alex went to school in Alex. I know like any township and surbubs lately there is crime but "rife" with crime? Mr Journalist please research your stories or facts. I'm sure you wrote this story from high walls of Sandton.

On a positive though Suphocate from Rythm City Phungwayo Benson Mhlongo are all people from Gomorra. I do appreciate the fact that you took time to write about this wonderful "kasie" should be comended. Awe Gomorra

Nov 13, 2012 8:44 | 0 replies

Shack infested Alexandra and a 100 year centenary doesn’t sound like we are almost 20 years in democracy for as long as Corruption, cadre deployment, maladministration, nepotism and Nkandla Hollywood life style is still in existence in this Country then it is the beginning of another 100 years of poverty

Nov 13, 2012 9:24 | 0 replies

Do we still use stamps? I consider myself behind when it comes to technological advancement but I have been scanning and sending PDF and word documents for the past 5 years. Actually, I do not even have access to a fax machine and I am doing all fine. The stamp will only be bought by stamp collectors. Or those that cannot hand-deliver public service vacancy applications. Good luck Alex. I am certain that the Alexander Mafia will buy 5kg load of them and post their Msomi Gang anecdotes all over the show.

Nov 13, 2012 10:42 | 0 replies

Located near Sandton, Johannesburg, the township is rife with poverty and crime, and has a population of about 470,000 people.
You will be surprised on how Alex is impoverished but yet is next to one of the expensive places in Africa to lve in and that is Sandton City.

Nov 13, 2012 10:43 | 0 replies

I love Atteridgeville, ke nyetswe daar by a beautiful woman! And why not Atteridgeville @SA Post office?!

Nov 13, 2012 11:0 | 0 replies

Located near Sandton, Johannesburg, the township is rife with poverty and crime, and has a population of about 470,000 people.
if you include those BIG Rats, it will equate to 750 000......

Nov 19, 2012 1:52 | 0 replies