The Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria is about more than a place for visual arts as it is also becoming the coolest place for the youth hangouts. The centre officially opened on Heritage Day, 24 September 2019 and is located at the University of Pretoria. According to Prof Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP, the centre aims to support and enhance UP’s academic programmes relating to the arts and make use of these collections in teaching and research, as well as promote the appreciation of the arts and make the arts accessible to the wider South African and African community.
Towards the end of 2019, Mabeleng Moholo facilitated an indigenous music workshop as part of the Weekend Vibe programme, which was a huge success as they had quite a number of youth came together. He shared his knowledge of various traditional instruments and demonstrated how they were played. Moholo is one of the facilitators at the centre who was born and bred in Soweto which brought about a burning love for music in his life at a very early stage.
He allocated instruments to the participants and later grouped them up so they could compose their own melodies. The participants enjoyed themselves whilst learning and as a result, he decided to design a full programme for the centre. Javett-UP Education Officer, Puleng Plessie highlighted that they wanted to bring African art to the centre, and part of that was exploring indigenous cultural themes. “What’s great about this is that one can incorporate such moments in the visual art space… we are also trying trans-disciplinary programmes, where we incorporate music and visual art,” she said.
Moreover, Moholo has planned a primary school tour where he will show children how to make simple instruments and use them to perform. “Most of these instruments are not available any longer and are found in museums, but they should be played and enjoyed” He added. “I am glad that the youth of today are starting to be conscious, to go back to understanding what decolonizing means in real terms,” said Moholo.