Avhashoni Mainganye, although he does not confess to being a poet, uses the microcosm of his immediate surroundings to make macrocosmic comments, most poetically, on wider social issues. One specific influence was Ingwabele Madingwane; his poem “Mother Spirit” was a great inspiration for Avhashoni.
Avhashoni Mainganye was born 1957, in Phiphidi, in Venda. He now lives with his family in Thohoyandou.
Avhashoni worked on the opportunity, while at David Krut Projects, to complete some etching plates that he started some years ago. One work entitled “Daughters of the earth” is linked to a dominant matriarchal presence in many black cultures. A reflection on the archaic mother spirit which intrigues Avhashoni.
Avhashoni finds the dominant matriarchal presence in many black cultures intriguing. In his opinion, women are more connected with the earth due to their creativity and life-giving potential. Avhashoni produced two etchings while at David Krut Workshop dedicated to women. Both works have now been editioned in rich sepia colours so as to reinforce the connection with the earth.
In 1981, Avhashoni enrolled at the Rorkes Drift Art School in Kwa-Zulu Natal and completed an art in two years. In 1983 he returned to Venda and had a two person exhibition at the converted ladies bar at the Thohoyandou Hotel with Nthambeleni. Back at home he became a local cultural activist to revive the energy of the artists in Venda.
In 1985 he came to Johannesburg and enrolled at Funda Art Centre in Soweto, which was initiated by Matsemela Manaka and its first director Steven Sack. He took part in the Ussalep/Thuphelo Workshops which were an interaction between local and international artists. His aim is to create art awareness, initiate arts education in Venda, and unveil other artists. His dream is to one day open a museum and manage his own art studio.