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The long-awaited Noria Mabasa's gallery and craft centre in Venda, Limpopo, has finally been opened.
The centre, which is worth more than R1million, is regarded as a true investment by the Department of Arts and Culture.
Named after the veteran sculpture, the idea of the centre started after representatives of the national Department of Arts and Culture visited the area and realised that people needed a centre of their own.
Mabasa told Sowetan that the first group of 10 people who are doing a course in pottery has started. "The students are taught how to do pottery. We also offer two-week courses in sculpture, pottery, fine arts and oil painting. We also offer accommodation, food and transport for those who cannot afford it," she said.
For a long time Mabasa ran the school at her home with scant resources. She trained young visual artists and empowered them with artistic skills.
With her brave move to open a gallery in Vuwani, Venda, Mabasa has put her home town on the map.
A multi-talented pensioner, Mabasa is the chief executive officer and principal of the centre. She teaches sculpture, pottery, fine arts and oil painting.
"Nothing can now stop me from imparting my skills to younger generations because the department has done a good job. I'm showing them that they invested in the right person. All my students are creative and have potential," Mabasa said.
The gallery will only be used to exhibit the legend's work.
One of the students, Sarah Makhuvha, 51, said it was her ambition to do pottery. "I knew nothing about pottery, but now I can create any pottery image through this course. When I complete the course, I will be able to sell my works and also share my skills with others," Makhuvha said.