Proud to announce our new collab' with Ndebele Tribe!!!

by Sybil Dechin & Juliette Konrad July 05, 2017

Proud to announce our new collab' with Ndebele Tribe!!!

After several weeks of work, Spiritgirl is proud to announce their new collaboration with Ndebele Tribes of South Africa. We have designed a limited edition in partnership with four amazing Ndebele woman painters from Verena village of Mpumalanga. This incredible adventure was not only a partnership… but also a real cultural experience. The goal of the limited edition is to promote and enhance the South African cultural diversity and traditional craftsmanship. The Ndebele woman will receive 25% of the sales per pants and tops. 


The Ndebele 

The Ndebele are a South African Tribe recognized for the quality of their art which blends painting with architecture. While men build houses, the painting of murals is indeed an abstract art reserved for women. The Ndebele art uses a palette of vivid colors and many geometric shapes highlighted by thick black lines. The rigor and the purity of the forms reflect the eminently contemporary spirit of Ndebele art. This abstract and minimalist graphic language could be brought closer to the researchers of Kandinsky or Mondrian.

The aesthetic Ndebele was born in a colonial period. In the nineteenth century, after having resisted Boer farmers (white settlers of Dutch origin) who coveted the land, they were enslaved in their own territory. The British expansion was an era of blood revolt. Throughout this period, art has emerged as both a tool of struggle (paintings were used for information and communication between different networks), a factor of resilience, cultural cement and the affirmation of an identity that did not intend to disappear.

Two decades later, what happens to the Ndebele? The latter tribes live in the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Many beading and specimens of painted walls have fed private collections and entered South African and foreign museums. The genius of Ndebele women who witness a historic period marked by colonization tends to be exported. Indeed, Ndebele art has, for some years already, been recognized on the world art scene. It began at the Magicians of the Earth exhibition at the Centre Gorges Pompidou in Paris in 1989, where a house with traditional architecture was painted by a Ndebele woman: Esther Mahlangu. Then, in 2004, Ndebele Women were invited to design a BMW and in 2007 to decorate a large French stadium. This shows the modernity of this art which is today, always of its time.

Our 5 Ndebele Painters Stories : 

• Mirriam Mahlangu

"I was born in 1957 in Witbank. I learn art from my grandmother because in Christmas day, she loves to do panting in our home. When I was young I helped her. Then I got married in Ndebele Watervaal ln 1993. I came to virena in 1994. When l got her I  recruited women an children to do panting. I registered the company as cooperative. We are doing art, beads, dressmaking and ndebele dancing. Many people gained experience at kgodhlelela. We are ten people nine women an one man."

• Olivia Maepa

"I was born in 1988 in janefurse. I started school at moretsele an molepane primary in janefurse. I attended high schools in janefurse at molepane and ngwanamatlala high schools. I learn art after I got married in 2015 at virena. I then join kgodhlelela women's group in 2015. my first love was always doing art an know I can do anything about the ndebele culture."

• Sara kabine

"I was born in mokobola in 1966.I learn art from my grandfather when I was young. I joined kgodhlelela women's group in 2016 I learn more at kgodhlelela."


•Emily Masombuka

"I was born in 1944 in swrtkoopies. My aunt was always doing ndebele culture painting. I join kgodhlelela women's group in 2013to get experience know I have it."


• Rose masobuku

"I was born in 1961in sister teach ed me how to do panting. Then in 2016 I joined kgodhlelela women's group. Know I can do anything because I have experience."


Our Collaboration 

Our brand Spiritgirl through its various partnerships seeks to preserve the South African heritage and this new collaboration once again allows to put this one in front! Thanks to this limited edition, Spiritgirl promotes the know-how of these Ndebele women.  By purchasing one of these Ndebele designs, pants or tops, you support these women and allow them to grow beyond their isolated faces!

Sybil Dechin & Juliette Konrad
Sybil Dechin & Juliette Konrad


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