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Brainstorm 2020 Calendar exhibition: Winning artist crowned

Read time 2min 20sec
Puleng Mokagane flanked by Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen, CMO of BCX, and Ivan Regasek, CEO of ITWeb. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)
Puleng Mokagane flanked by Mandisa Ntloko-Petersen, CMO of BCX, and Ivan Regasek, CEO of ITWeb. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)

Puleng Mokagane, a young artist from Alexandra, has walked away with the Brainstorm 2020 Calendar exhibition’s top prize for his piece titled ‘The Prophet of the Masai'.

The calendar project, now in its 12 year, teams up local up-and-coming artists with corporate sponsors. The sponsors brief the artists on their companies’ ethos and vision, and artworks are then produced for each month of the year. Mokagane’s `Prophet of Masai’ artwork was commissioned by Telkom and features in February.

Mokagane, who is self-taught and has been drawing since the age of six, said he was given an open brief by Telkom. "This is my baby, a prophecy of my dreams coming true."

He added that his love of art saw him through depression and a car accident he had earlier this year. "For me, surviving the accident was a sign that I'm meant for greater things."

He has never won a prize for his art, so it took some time for him to realise that, indeed, the R25 000 cash prize was his.

So, who will he share the good news with first?

Puleng Mokagane, telling the story of his winning piece, ‘The Prophet of the Masai', commissioned by Telkom. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)
Puleng Mokagane, telling the story of his winning piece, ‘The Prophet of the Masai', commissioned by Telkom. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)

His grandmother and sister. "Art is a very expensive pastime and my sister has been the one supporting me financially throughout my art career. My grandmother (I hear her in the dining room) prays for me every night."

Mokagane's childhood friend, Leslie Thubakgale, also features in the calendar. Mokagane said the two of them used to practice their skill by drawing portraits of each other.

Puleng Mokagane and his artwork: ‘The Prophet of the Masai'. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)
Puleng Mokagane and his artwork: ‘The Prophet of the Masai'. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)

"Earlier today, he told me that this is just the beginning for us, and I told him that he's going to take this," said Thubakgale. "He's in the process of compiling his portfolio, so I know this win is going to change his life...Mine too, because his win is my win."

Mokagane added that he is now even more inspired to open his own art gallery in Alex, where he can also mentor upcoming talent.

Runner-up Percy Maimela recieving his award from Mark Jackman, Huawei business unit executive at  iOCO. (Photo: PaulMcGavin). (Photo: PaulMcGavin)
Runner-up Percy Maimela recieving his award from Mark Jackman, Huawei business unit executive at iOCO. (Photo: PaulMcGavin). (Photo: PaulMcGavin)

Percy Maimela won the runner-up prize of R10 000 for his painting ‘Together we can grow’, commissioned ExposeIT/Huawei.

But one might argue that the night's luckiest winner was Tebogo Langa.

Langa was mistakenly announced as the runner-up and, to avoid disappointing him, MC Mummy Mthembu-Fawkes started an impromptu auction where his piece titled ‘The journey of an ambitious soul’ sponsored by iOCO/Huawei was sold for R6 000.

Runner-up Percy Maimela and his artwork, commissioned by ExposeIT/Huawei. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)
Runner-up Percy Maimela and his artwork, commissioned by ExposeIT/Huawei. (Photo: PaulMcGavin)
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