Monkeybiz’s African Totem Pole for V & A Waterfront


Monkeybiz’s African Totem Pole for V & A Waterfront

There’s a story to be told about the spirit of the township & people are finally ready to listen. The team from V & A Waterfront have selected Monkeybiz to create one of eight Travelling Totems that will be part of their Christmas installation in celebration of local artists and craftsmen.

The Monkeybiz Totem, lovingly called ‘Umoya Wasekasi’, meaning ‘spirit of the township’, has been carefully put together to represent the beauty behind everyday life in the Cape Town based township, Khayelitsha, where most of our artists come from.  Each piece placed on the totem pole is a beautifully beaded visual representation of real homes, people & animals that were found & photographed in Khayelitsha, bringing to life the vibrancy of a place that many call home.

25 bead artists and 1 wire artist were involved in the creation of the Monkeybiz Totem, beading a total of 22x 3D items and 1x large mat consisting of 21 different portraits.

Each piece plays an integral role in the story our Totem tells:

  • Sun & Moon: representing the cycle of life
  • Bead Artist Dolls: representing the bead artists
  • Portrait mats: representing family and women empowerment
  • Houses: representing homes
  • Trees: representing growth
  • Animals: representing lifestyle
  • People: representing community

Visit the V & A Waterfront this festive season & let us tell you our story.

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