PICS: Mural erected to honour slain young artist Zolani Nikani
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Cape Town - Emotions ran high as friends and fellow artists previewed a mural dedicated to the memory of a budding young artist from Nyanga East on Sunday.
The mural was painted on the walls of the Nyanga East Rugby Stadium at Emms Drive.
The preview follows a series of fund-raising events to pay for the funeral of Zolani Nikani, 23, also known as Vocal Zoid, who was stabbed by a close friend last week after a brief argument.
Equal Rights Forum leader Thulani Phike said the mural was a dedication to the family for the sacrifices Nikani made in uplifting youngsters through arts in the community.
“Zolani was a young, promising and talented artist. Lots of young kids were looking up to him, hence he made this mural. He made his contribution and his life was not in vain and this is how we honour him because he contributed a lot in the community especially in music, arts and culture.
“The government is supposed to have programmes and interventions to support these young artists so that they are able to elevate their talents. Children in the townships are expected to perform miracles with no support from the government.
“Nikani’s death is a loss to the community as he was living for us, taking addicts and transforming them to artists,” said Phike.
Visual artist Themba Mkhangeli said through the mural he wanted the community to remember that artists were icons.
“Zolani was involved in the development of arts and culture in the area and this is my tribute to him. I want the mural to be a constant reminder to young kids and other budding artists in the community of the contribution and the difference he has made to young people that are aspiring to make art their career.
“Zolani had a vision and in choosing and painting the mural, I wanted to capture that. The visual embodies the kind of person he was, someone with a mission who was always looking forward to not only developing himself but also of uplifting young and upcoming artists,” he said.
Zolani’s grandmother, Nolutolo Nikani, remembered him as a creative and active child who was focused on his studies.
“We appreciate this gesture by the community and by his peers as this will be a constant reminder to us of the child that we have raised.This will also ensure that his name is not forgotten and his child will grow to know what his father stood for,” she said.