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TAYA winner optimistic about future

Two visual artists who scooped first position in the Thapong Artists of the year and BTC phone book cover competition respectively have returned from Zimbabwe where they had gone to represent Botswana in an exchange programme as part of their prize package.

Gosego Motlogelwa and Mpho Maleke had spent a week in Zimbabwe for at the centre of contemporary arts in Zimbabwe.

Now back in the country, Voice Entertainment caught up one half of the pair, Maleke who shared with us his journey.

20-year-old Maleke who is the BTC phonebook cover winner, was elated to finally benefit from the exchange programme which was delayed by covid-19 travel restrictions.

Sharing his excitement he said, “Being part of the exchange programme has helped me look at things much differently. Through the programme, I was able to network and exchange ideas with more established artists that side who are making moves, big moves.”

Maleke further said that in Zimbabwe, they visited different heritage sites where they amassed a lot of inspiration and collaboration opportunities.

“I have exchanged numbers with the artists that side and we are already talking about collaborative exhibitions where we will host one this side and another in Zimbabwe. This will provide a chance for not only me but two or three others whom I will take with me,” Maleke said.

The second-year student at Botho University also said he will soon host a solo exhibition at the Thapong venue after implementing the skills he learnt from the exchange programme.

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In high spirits, as the duo returned home, Thapong Visual Arts Centre Coordinator, Reginald Bakwena praised BTC for affording local artists the opportunity to engage in the exchange programme.

For Bakwena the Thapong artists of the year and BTC phone book competitions were more than just the prize money but an opportunity for the artists to travel and to be exposed to how others are doing it, internationally.

As is the norm, this year TAYA will be hosted towards the end of the year, with calls for entry to be announced soon.