HOEDSPRUIT- iNyoka Gallery is an artists’ co-operative, featuring the work of artists and photographers who live in and around the town of Hoedspruit. The gallery provides a base for local artists and photographers where they can display and sell their work.
On March 18, iNyoka Gallery, in collaboration with the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD), hosted an exhibition named Ko Nokeng, which means “at the river”. This exhibition was focused on our beloved Olifants river.
Themed around the Olifants, the art on display represented people’s appreciation of this vital life source, which means different things to different people. According to AWARD, the Olifants and its contributing waterways are critical for supporting life. Yet unchecked pollution, inappropriate land and resource use, weak and poorly enforced policies and regulation, and poor protection of habitats and biodiversity are degrading the Olifants at an alarming rate.
Through Our Olifants, AWARD aims to improve how the Olifants catchment is managed. The association for Water and Rural Development is calling on people and organisations working in the water and biodiversity sectors, community members, traditional authorities, farmers, the mining sector, research institutions, local and national government, and other interested and affected parties in South Africa and Mozambique, to be part of a process to develop a more resilient Olifants catchment.
The event also signalled the launch of the #OurOlifants campaign which aims to support a collective action to improve how natural resources are managed in the Olifants catchment. The idea is to have a shared sense of identity and responsibility towards the Olifants catchment area, to develop a learning network and make links between water, biodiversity and livelihood.
By hosting the exhibition iNyoka and its members shared their views of the system and the river at its heart. The Roots of Rhythm dancers showed their talent to the people who attended the event, and good live music was provided by local band Lion Whispers.