FACTS AND FIGURES
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.