The New Age (Gauteng) - - FEATURE -

THIS year’s Miss Cul­tural SA, Au­drey Skhosana, was born in KwaMh­langa on Au­gust 1, 2000 and grew up in Vaal­bank vil­lage out­side Siyabuswa.

Skhosana started school in Grade R at the Mbongo Pri­mary School in Vaal­bank and did Grade 1 to 5 at the Chief Al­bert Luthuli Pri­mary School in Luthuli vil­lage near KwaMh­langa.

She is writ­ing her Grade 12 se­nior cer­tifi­cate ex­am­i­na­tions at the Lethabong Se­nior Sec­ondary School in Sec­tion C in KwaMh­langa.

She is the sec­ond born in a fam­ily of two girls and a boy. Her par­ents are Li­nah and Petrous Skhosana.

Speak­ing to The New Age, the con­fi­dent young woman said her life-long dream was to be­come a pilot, a ca­reer she has held close to her heart since an early age.

But she has a plan B, to be­come a teacher in com­merce, spe­cial­is­ing in ac­count­ing.

She counts world renowned Nde­bele artist Es­ther Mahlangu as her lead­ing role model and one who has helped her de­velop a love of her cul­ture.

“This el­derly mother is my prin­ci­pal role model be­cause she is still en­hanc­ing the Nde­bele cul­ture and tra­di­tion in var­i­ous styles de­spite her age.”

The 82­year­old Mahlangu, af­fec­tion­ately known as Nos­tokana to the Nde­bele na­tion, has glob­ally built a name for her­self be­cause of her bold large-scale con­tem­po­rary art paint­ings that ref­er­ence her Nde­bele her­itage.

She earned pop­u­lar­ity in 1986 when re­searchers from Paris in France who were trav­el­ling the world doc­u­ment­ing tra­di­tional art, cul­tures and re­lated is­sues, vis­ited her home in Wel­tevrede near Siyabuswa and pho­tographed her eye-catch­ing house with its ex­te­rior dec­o­ra­tions while she was away at work.

She was later in­vited to France to show­case her artis­tic abil­i­ties.

She is also the founder of the Es­ther Mahlangu Nde­bele Art School where young Nde­bele girls are be­ing taught the Nde­bele art and cul­ture.

“I wish the Almighty can ex­tend the life of this Nde­bele in­ter­na­tional am­bas­sador and con­tinue to put the Nde­bele cus­toms on the map,” Skhosana said.

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