Durban artist Nanda Soobben paints his first peace mural in Chatsworth following July’s unrest, next is Phoenix and Tongaat
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Durban: Following the unrest in July, Nanda Soobben painted a peace mural on the wall outside the Aryan Benevolent Home (ABH) in Chatsworth. The mural took the Isipingo artist a month to complete.
“Shabnam Palesa Mohamed, the manager of my art school, suggested the idea. I thought it was brilliant to paint peace murals and I decided to tackle four projects around Durban,” said Soobben, who runs the Centre for Fine Arts, Animation and Design.
The first mural was in Chatsworth and he planned to do others in Phoenix, oThongathi, and Merewent.
“I didn’t want them to be just peace murals. I wanted them to be history lessons on a wall. There is a Cancel Culture in this country and people who fought for the peace and the freedom of this country are not mentioned anymore. When they talk about the Black Consciousness Movement, only Steve Biko is mentioned. No one talks about Strini Moodley, Rick Turner, or Saths Cooper,” said Soobben.
The mural depicts images of, among others, Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Albert Luthuli, Mahatma Gandhi, Fatima Meer, Imtiaz Sooliman, Gcina Mhlope, Judge Navi Pillay and Kumi Naidoo.
“The aim of the painting is to bring about peace and a non-racial society following the unrest. It is to bring people of different races together and to bring about social cohesion. After having a look at the painting, people will remember our struggle icons who fought for peace and freedom, and hopefully follow and carry the same values.”
Kish Chetty, the CEO of ABH, said they were honoured and appreciated Soobben for choosing to include the home in his campaign to promote peace.