Events and News

To celebrate our 25th Anniversary

Africa Foundation UK in partnership with

ART FIRST

Art Exhibition and Auction.

 

28 September 2017 6.30 pm

OCTOBER GALLERY 

24 Old Gloucester St, WC1N 3AL

 

Paintings, sculptures and photographs from renowned African and UK based artists will be auctioned by Giles Peppiat, Director of South African Art, Bonhams.

Funds raised will be used to build a science laboratory at Bilton High School, Mpumalanga, South Africa

If you would like to attend please send an invitation request to

uk-artauction@africafoundation.org

Scroll down to view the exceptional works of art generously donated by the artists and owners

If you are unable to attend but would like to make a bid online bidding is available at:-

www.artfirst.co.uk/africa/auction.pdf

 

Lots 5 & 6: Dreams In the sand: Kimberley Gundle:

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Dreams in the Sand Maasai Series 2014 – 17, mixed media with collage. Image sizes 30 x 46 cm, frame size 42 x 56 cm

Kimberley Gundle completed her first walk in the Great Rift Valley for charity and felt compelled to return again and again, living with Maasai tribes in Kenya and Tanzania in remote settlements set in arid, dusty landscapes.  She made drawings and photographed the men and women she made contact with, capturing their dignity the and astonishing beauty of their colourful cloth and ornamental beaded jewellery. She always donates a percentage of sales back to the communities and is currently funding the installation of a much needed borehole through the Africa Foundation.

Kimberley has exhibited her Maasai related work on three occasions at the Palazzo Bembo,  for the Venice Biennale in exhibitions titled “Personal Sctructures, Time Space Existence.

This pair of Maasai women, are created from stone lithograph printing, watercolour and collage to create a rich texture and to convey the sense of single figures in the emptiness of vast landscape.

Kimberley completed a degree in Fine Art at thrMichaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, followed by a two year post graduate degree at the Slade School of Art in London in 1990.

Reserve £250 each

 

Lot 23:  Dog Days; Kim Wolhuter:

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Dog Days, 2012, digital print, edition of 10, 80 x 120 cm Winner of the 2012 Gerald Durrell award for threatened species.

Kim filmed African wild dogs at Zimbabwe’s Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve for more than four years. He knew one pack intimately. ‘I have travelled with them, on foot, in the pack itself, running with them as they hunt. It’s a privilege, and it’s given me a true insight into their life.’ Kim has also witnessed first-hand the many threats that have made African wild dogs endangered, including increased conflict with humans and domestic animals (poachers’ snares, habitat loss, traffic and disease). ‘At times, it’s heart-wrenching,’ he says. ‘My mission is to dispel the myth that the wild dogs are a threat and help raise awareness of their plight.’ African wild dogs require huge territories, and so protecting them can protect entire ecosystems. When this picture was taken, the pack had travelled four kilometres to the Sosigi Pan, only to find it totally dried up. ‘The mosaic of mud seemed to epitomise the increasingly fragmented world this puppy is growing up in.’

Reserve £1500

 

Lot 12: Matshiatshidi’s Home: Clifford Mpai:

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Matshiatshidi’s Home, 1995, pencil crayon on paper, 34 x 51 cm

Clifford Mpai worked as a gardener for the Oppenheimer family in Johannesburg over many years, visiting his home and family in Pietersburg, Northern Transvaal regularly.  He is of the Northern Sotho people and concentrated on depicting the more traditional buildings with their thatched roofs and decorated walls so that his children would always remember what they looked like. He draws the things he likes, often from memory, bringing an incisive vision to his graphic, self-taught style which is intensely expressive and fresh.  His work can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Johannesburg and Durban Art Galleries and in private collections.

Reserve  £1000

 

Lot 11: At the Barber shop: Kate Mckrickard:

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At the Barber Shop, 2014, monotype with water based inks pulled from copper plate, Plate size 13 x 18 cm, sheet size 21 x 26cm

Kate McCrickard grew up in Zambia and Malawi before moving to the UK, where she completed an MA Honours Degree in n Fine Art at Edinburgh University in 1998.In 2012 her monograph on William Kentridge was published by the Tate and her work is held in the British Museum and the Royal Scottish Academy as well as in notable collections in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London and Johannesburg,

In her monotype series of images from childhood, are drawn from everyday life and snatched from covert viewing points to her sketchbooks. Taking a child to have a haircut is typical of the universal scenarios which feed into her art.  Filled with humour and expressive mark making, their appeal is direct and immediate.

Reserve £200

 

Lots 13 & 14: Bonnie Ntshalintshali (1967 – 1999)

Lot 13: Ukuzalwa Kukajesu:

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Lot 14: Udaniel Namabhubesi:

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1995, Screen print, 15/50, 100 x 69cm Based on the Biblical story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

The mythical animals depicted here are derived from Gothic beasts and translated into African warthogs and lions.

Bonnie was born on Ardmore Farm in KwaZulu Natal and suffered from polio. Her mother asked Fee Halsted if she would teach Bonnie ceramics, and so began a remarkable partnership, where she and Fay were nominated joint winners of the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year Award in 1990.  Bonnie embraced a strong narrative in her sculptural ceramics, drawing on Zulu traditional stories and combining them with her own response to Western imagery.  She was the leading artist at Ardmore Ceramics, and after her early death, a museum was established in her memory.

Reserve £900 each

 

Lot 22 : Bull Elephants and Rhino, Hwata Pan, Zimbabwe: Kim Wolhuter:

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Bull Elephants and Rhino, Hwata Pan, Zimbabwe, 2014, digital printEdition of 10 80cm X 100cm
“The animals tend to come to this pan under the cover of darkness to drink. Bull elephants and black and white rhino come to drink, always after dark. I have seen up to 30 white and 10 black rhinos at the pan and the socialising that goes on between them is a spectacle that very few rhino researchers have ever seen. If only I had a camera that could film in moonlight, I would have documented all of this extensively. And what makes it more amazing is that it’s something we’ll probably not see for much longer, and then possibly never see it again if rhino poaching goes on the way it is across southern Africa” Kim Wolhuter

This mage was a finalist in its category at the World Wildlife Photography exhibition at the natural History museum 2014

Reserve £1,500

 

Lot 19: Red Oval, 2003: Jeremy Wafer:

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Red Oval, 2003: Jeremy Wafer Fibre reinforced resin, with pigment, edition of 5, 66 x 33 cm Red Oval, 2003

Ovals are a recurrent motif within Wafer’s practice as a sculptor, and the fine red oval on offer here stems from a series which he began in 1995, continued in 1996 while in the UK and then a third in 1998. ART FIRST exhibited the UK series which were acquired by the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute in Washington.  The markings Wafer uses come from traditional Zulu pottery, and from African scarification motifs. The sensually rich surface also has a classical rigour typical of his formal synthesis and transformation.

Wafer is associate Professor of the School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and he exbibits nationally and internationally, with work held in key public collections in South Africa and the USA.

Reserve £700

 

Lots 9 & 10: Thirza Kotzen

Lot 9 Transkei:

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Transkei, collagraph, 56 x 75 cm (Unframed)

Lot 10: Island Camp:

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Island Camp collagraph, 56 x 75 cm (Unframed)

Kotzen was born in Johannesburg, South Africa where she studied painting and printmaking before moving to London where she now lives and works. Studies continued at the University of Oregon, USA, where, in 1979, she received a Masters Degree in Fine Arts. Since then she has travelled, taught and exhibited widely. She continues to make work that expands one’s experience of the minutiae of nature, as well as its enormity. Her work embraces a world that shimmers with poetry, colour, light and dimension.

“I am a landscape artist. I am drawn to places that take my breath away. Not always the grandest panoramas or the highest peaks, but the configuration of forms, shapes, colours, detail and movement that compel me to paint. I am inspired by places that feed my dreams, that awaken memories, and remind me that I was born in Africa.”

The two richly coloured collagraphs Kotzen has donated reflect those African landscapes she recalled while working in London:  The Transkei, in the Eastern Cape, with its dense green hills populated with village huts and rural communities, and in the second image, the luxuriant foliage of an island camp in Kenya.

Reserve £300 each

 

Lot 3: Post card collage from Africa. 1983: Luciano Bonomi:

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Collage Post Card to Africa 1983, collage on card, 8.4 x 13.5cm, framed 19 x 24 cm

Bonomi trained at the Brera Academy of Fine Art in Milan, Italy, specialising in sculpture, and exhibited throughout the 1970’s.  It was time spent in Nigeria and Kenya in the 1980’s that inspired him with new sculptural ideas, which he came to express in a body of brass wire sculptural constructions, contained in Perspex boxes. These he exhibited in the UK when he moved there in 1986. Hi now lives outside Rome.

Much of his thinking took the form of drawings and collages and his gift to the Africa Foundation fundraising event is this charming small collage postcard from Africa.

Reserve £200

 

Lot 16: Karoo: Barbara Rae:

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Barbara Rae visited South Africa for the first time in 1996 and again the following year, exploring the Cape Landscape, and she produced a magnificent body of work for her exhibition with ART FIRST in Cork Street as a result. The richly coloured Karoo print was produced in Scotland with Graal press, using water based inks on Arches paper, and came directly from her experience of working in the Little Karoo landscape itself, and from the numerous sketches and works on paper she completed, in situ and continued working with back in her Edinburgh Studio.

As a leading Scottish artist, she studied at Edinburgh College of Art, and for twenty years taught at the Glasgow School of Art. Rae was elected a Royal Academician in 1996 and was awarded a CBE for services to the arts in 1999.  She lives and works in Edinburgh from where she continues to travel in Arizona, Spain, Ireland and Scotland, exhibiting regularly, and of course every year at the Royal Scottish Academy, and the Royal Academy in London. She is currently represented by Portland Gallery and has published several books on her painting and print makingRae’s work is in many collections including the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museums, Glasgow.

Reserve £2,000

 

Lot 1: Ndebele Artist Esther Mahlangu, South Africa: Carole Beckwith & Angela Fisher:

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For thirty years Beckwith and Fisher have worked as a photographic duo recording traditional ceremonies throughout Africa.

African Ceremonies Inc, is their charitable foundation, dedicated to the preservation of African tribal traditions through the photographic documentation of ceremonies and customs. Their dedication has ensured that the strength and essence of African culture is preserved for the history of mankind and for the education of future generations.

Notable amongst them is the two-volume award-winning African Ceremonies published in 1999 and they are currently completing a second double volume covering areas untouched previously and to be published by Rizzoli.

With typical generosity, they have given this special artist’s proof signed photograph of the renowned Ndbele wall painter and artist, Esther Mahlangu whom they met when photographing the Ndebele people in South Africa.

Reserve £800 (unframed)

 

Lot 4: Skull Series: Taung Skull 2011:  Joni Brenner:

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Taung Skull watercolour on paper, 18 x 26cm. Framed.

 “Every skull once belonged to an individual subject, and collectively, they are the most compelling of objects. They are deeply recognisable, and yet abstract – specific, and yet anonymous. It is perhaps what Warhol’s assistant Ronnie Cutrone meant when he remarked of Warhol’s Skull series that ‘to make a painting of a skull is to do the portrait of everyone in the world’. JB.

This beautiful watercolour of the Taung Skull almost resembles the map of Africa itself and it is resonant with symbolism as well as its scientific references.

Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Joni Brenner is Principal Tutor in Art History at Wits School of Arts, Johannesburg. Her work is represented in Museum and public collections in South Africa, including Johannesburg Art Gallery, Wits Art Museum, Origins Museum and Unisa Art Gallery, Pretoria

Reserve: £400

 

Lot 21: Remains of a Farmhouse: Graeme Williams:

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Remains of an elaborately designed farm entrance near an expanding township, Citrusdal, Western Cape, 2013

Paper size 45.5 x 45.5cm, / Image 37.7 x 37.7cm, Archival digital print , 2/5 . Framed

Using a square format and bleached light, the tonal images such as shared electricity supply poles, football pitches, old farm entrances near expanding townships, are familiar, and reflect the state of the nation.

His photographs featured in the 2011 Figures and Fictions exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Apartheid and After at The Huis Marseille in Amsterdam (2014), and a series of images was showcased in The World Atlas of Street Photography published by Yale University Press and Thames and Hudson in 2014. In 2013 he was awarded the Ernest Cole Photography Award by Cape Town University for City Refracted, a visual essay on Johannesburg, which is now published as a book.

Reserve £600

 

Lot 17: Labelo: Helen Sebidi:

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Lebelo’  Le a Jelwa  1995, screenprint, 15/60 , 69 x 100 cm  (framed) Mmakgabo

Helen Sebidi  (born 1943) received the Award of the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver) from the Office of The Presidency  in South Africa – a rare accolade. She was also one of the contemporary South African artists to be present at the British Museum’s land mark exhibition in 2016 : South Africa – art of a nation, where her work was included.

This print of 1995 was made with the Caversham Press, Natal (where Bonnie Ntshalintshali’s work was printed) and it illustrates an African story about two sisters raised by their grandparents. Mythological elements dominate Sebidi’s work, and her general themes deal with tensions of life in the townships and between urban and rural life.  In 1989, she won the Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year. Her work has entered museum and public collections in South Africa and worldwide.

Reserve £900

 

Lot 15: Baobab Tree Sowa Pan:  Georgia PapaGeorge:

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Baobab Tree Sowa Pan:  etching 19.5 x 13cm, framed size 47 x 38cm

Since 1994 Papageorge has worked in the Kalahari, Botswana, to produce the Gondwanaland Series; land-art works based in the Sowa Salt Pan. The resulting drawings and mixed media canvases and photographs convey the beauty of endless horizons and the empty space of the Kalahari, with its occasional Baobab trees. The etching comes from this aspect of her work and is the smallest scale she has worked on, yet it retains her rich graphic surface textures and an element of her symbolic vocabulary in the form of the striped chevron band tied around the tree’s ample trunk.

Papageorge studied Fine Art at the University of South Africa, Pretoria and at the Pretoria Technikon.  Her work is held in museum collections in South Africa and the UK (the British Museum) and in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC.

Reserve £170

 

Lot 18: Venda Sculpture: Samson

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Venda sculpture, Youth Pounding Maize,1996, indigenous wood 1m x 40 cm x 20cm

A fascinating school of self-taught wood carvers emerged in the Northern Transvaal amongst the Tsonga and Venda people.  Using indigenous woods, they embraced the ‘spirit’ of the tree’s natural forms and carved images which reflected the artist’s social conditions and religious beliefs, often relating legends and folk stories. Samson, the sculptor of this young woman who is pounding maize, lived in a simple hut in a deeply rural area, but was known by the local guides and began selling his work to occasional gallerists and visitors. Delicate banded carving indicates ankle and wrist ornament and a cloth wrapped around the body from below the breast to above the knee is subtly indicated.  The figure is from a transitional period as South Africa embraced its early democratic years.

Reserve: £1000

 

 

 


Robin James Award

AFRICA FOUNDATION ROBIN JAMES AWARD

To mark the 25th year of Africa Foundation, we have launched the Africa Foundation Robin James Award.

About the Award

The award in the name of Robin James, honours one of Africa Foundations trustees, and chair of Africa Foundation (UK), who passed away in 2016.

Robin James’ childhood interest in wildlife grew into an adult passion for conservation and the upliftment of rural communities. At Africa Foundation the legacy of Robin James began in 1992, when he provided the initial funding and vision for the organisation’s work. Thereafter Robin remained an active ambassador for Africa Foundation; his influence and inspiration, invaluable to the organisation’s continued growth. His daily dedication was unwavering and his years of service to the cause is unparalleled by any other.

The Africa Foundation Robin James Award aims to recognise people who show the same commitment to empowering people through access to education, health, economic opportunities and conservation. The award celebrates those who embody the same foresight, wisdom and sustained commitment that enabled Robin James to have an extraordinary impact on the lives of others.

More about Robin James

Robin James was born in 1945, and  spent his childhood growing up in Natal.  His  father, Ted James, was a Director of the Natal Parks Board, and through this involvement Robin developed his love for the outdoors and his fascination with birds. After finishing school at Michaelhouse, Robin spent a year in the Navy before attending the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, followed by a long and successful career in financial services in South Africa,  London and latterly the Isle of Man. Robin died suddenly on 17 May 2016.

The African bush was Robin’s sanctuary from the world, and it would be here where you would find him most relaxed and at peace. Robin photographed every aspect of bush life, and this love of the African bush set him on a philanthropic path 25 years ago.

In 1992,  he was a part of the visionary team of investors with Mark and Tara Getty that founded Africa Foundation after the creation of the Phinda Private Game Reserve.   Back then, Robin had provided the organisation’s initial seed funding and he remained instrumental in charting its course to present day, as a Trustee of the Africa Foundation in South Africa and Chairman of the Africa Foundation UK.

Below are just a few examples of the wonderful photographs Robin took:

Robin James Bee EaterRobin James Wildebeest
 
Robin James LeopardRobin James Yellow Bird

Selection Criteria for the Award

It is in Robin James’ name that Africa Foundation has chosen to recognise people who:

  1. Have had a significant and sustained positive impact on communities in which Africa Foundation is active.
  2. Have demonstrated the key aspects of the Africa Foundation methodology to empower communities by: doing things with people and; always building on the capacity and local wisdom of the community, to ensure sustainable solutions.
  3. Embody the key qualities of Robin James – humble; wise; persistent; positive; gentle; measured, with a long term outlook.

The Judges

The judging panel have been selected for their experience of Africa Foundation in action, their knowledge of the communities in which Africa Foundation is active, their valued professional insights and varied perspectives from regional and international positions

For more information about the judges click here.

The Award

  1. A sculpture, especially created by famous South African sculptor Dylan Lewis
  2. A cash prize
  3. A cash prize to be donated to an Africa Foundation community project of the winner’s choice.

Meet the 2017 Award Winner:

Mrs. Nomusa Haslot Zikhali, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Africa Foundation Robin James Award winner

Mrs. Zikhali first became known to Africa Foundation when she applied for support in 1999. For 2 years she had been running a school, teaching 60 children under the shade of trees in Mnqobokazi. Her commitment to and love of children, combined with sustained determination and strong leadership, led to Nkomo School today being a full service primary school for over 1000 pupils, of which she is the principal.

Her community focus meant that she was also integral to the development of Khulani Special School in Mduku. Mrs Zikhali raised funds for its construction and played a key role in the consultative processes with community and the Department of Education. Her involvement has ensured the long term success of the school which serves 300 pupils living with disabilities.

Mrs Zikhali went on to secure funding to build a centre for orphaned and vulnerable children, based at Nkomo School, which provides after-school care for children attending Nkomo and other neighbouring schools.

Recognising the importance of conservation and the role of education in protecting the environment and wildlife, Mrs Zikhali is a leader in the Eco School programme, and Nkomo serves as a training school in the area.

As an ambassador for the Africa Foundation methodology for community empowerment and sustainable change, Mrs Zikhali mentors school principals in the area, illustrating how to take ownership of their own sustainable growth.

Mrs Zikhali is recognised by the judges as a humble leader, visionary teacher and a devoted community member.

 


A Graduate of Distinction: Graduation of Sumayi James Korogwe, Tazania 2010

By Judy James, Africa Foundation Advisory Board

We first met Sumayi James when we visited Lukungu School near Grumeti in 2006 and the projects the Africa Foundation were undertaking there.  Sumayi was the Maths teacher, and we couldn’t help being impressed with this fine young woman.  She was already a Local Champion who, in addition to her teaching duties, was reaching out to AIDS victims in the community and continues to look after AIDS orphans in her own home.

So, when the opportunity arose, the Africa Foundation were pleased to sponsor Sumayi to attend a two-year Diploma course in Early Learning  at the Tanzanian College of Early Learning in Korogwe, so that she could take these extra skills back into her community.

As a result, Sumayi gave up her teaching job at Lukungu, left her three young children at home and – with the blessing of her very supportive husband and the community – took her place at the College to gain her Diploma.

My husband, Robin is the Chairman of Africa Foundation UK and we had promised Sumayi we would attend her Graduation, so, on 4th June 2010 we travelled out to Tanzania  and were met at Kilimanjaro Airport early in the morning by Ernest Mgonho from &Beyond Foundation, and Jeremiah,  Sumayi’s husband,  who had come up from Lamadi near Mwanza on Lake Victoria.

We set off for the four hour journey to Korogwe, following the road to Dar es Salaam about 100 kms inland, through flat arid land, with the dramatic Usambara range of mountains running alongside us, then through extensive sisal farms, and climbing through the lush, almost tropical, foothills to reach Korogwe.

On the morning of the graduation, we gathered at the entrance to the College, established by Norwegians in 2001, and situated outside Korogwe with a beautiful view over the hills. Students, teachers and graduates, resplendent in their robes, had begun to sing and dance as the band played.  Then, at a signal from the Principal, the band  led the happy procession singing and swaying up the drive to the College and into the beautifully decorated main hall, open on all sides to the cooling breeze,  packed with dignitaries, students from the College and from the Primary and Secondary schools associated with the college.

There was a full programme of events – performances from the school children from Hill View Primary and Hill View Secondary Schools, including poetry, a fashion show, recitals, dancing and singing and a particularly moving solo from a teenage AIDS orphan who had composed the hauntingly beautiful song himself, and which brought tears to many eyes.  The graduates each gave a dissertation on a certain person in history who had made a significant contribution to early child care/education – Sumayi chose Maria Montessori as her subject.

The dignitaries, who comprised the Principal of the College, Chairman of the Governors, representatives from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Administration of Children’s Rights, Law and Constitution, the Ruling CCM Party, the Water Board, and the District Doctor who attended to the students needs, all spoke eloquently and at length and then Robin and I were both called on to address the assembled crowd.   Then the Principal awarded each Graduate their certificate, and their family and friends draped their candidate with brightly coloured garlands while everyone clapped and laughed.

So much preparation and forethought had gone into ensuring the success of this happy occasion and afterwards we were treated to lunch set out in the large dining hall, also open on all sides to take advantage of any cool air during the intense heat of the day.

That evening Sumayi had organised a special dinner at a local restaurant in Korogwe which was a joyous event, to thank the Africa Foundation as sponsors, to say goodbye to some of the graduates and teachers who had become her friends and to celebrate a tremendous achievement.  There were more speeches, although this time one of the teachers acted as interpreter from Swahili to English, and the other way round when it was Robin and my turn to say our thanks.  We congratulated Sumayi on a superb effort to achieve second place overall for the year,  and we thanked her husband , Jeremiah, and the rest of her family for their amazing support which made it possible for her to spend two years so far away.

The Tanzanian Government is encouraging all Primary Schools to build a separate Pre-school and the Africa Foundation have raised funds to construct a Pre-school and OVC day-care centre next to the Lukungu Primary School – of which Sumayi will be the Principal.   We hope that this Pre-school will become a centre of excellence for the surrounding areas, and that Sumayi will be able to use her qualifications to train local teachers wanting to specialise in Early Learning and to advise on the setting up of other Pre-Schools in the area and beyond.


In Memory of Robin James – 1945-2016

It is with extremely heavy hearts that we convey the passing of Robin James, Chairman of Africa Foundation (UK) and trustee of Africa Foundation South Africa. Rob’s incredible legacy of uplifting the rural communities of Africa began 25 years ago, when he was a part of the visionary team that founded Africa Foundation. Back then, Rob had provided the organisation’s initial seed funding and was instrumental in charting its course to present day.

A truly dedicated and passionate individual, Rob’s steadfast commitment to empowering people through access to education, health and economic opportunities meant that he had an extraordinary impact on the lives of thousands of people. His daily dedication was unwavering and his years of service to the cause was unparalleled by any other. Our gratitude and words will never suffice. His wisdom and selfless contribution will truly be missed.

From all at Africa Foundation – we thank you Rob.

Rob is survived by his wife Judy and his children Stuart and Richard – our thoughts are with you all.

robin
Photo from left: the late Lance Japhet, former Chairman of Africa Foundation; Africa Foundation Patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and the late Robin James, Chairman of Africa Foundation (UK)