Arts meets tourism through storytelling at Africa’s Travel Indaba

The unveiling of a wall mural at the African Tourism Indaba 2019 represents a big step forward in driving the opportunities culture can bring to tourism.

The wall mural was unveiled by the South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, following the opening of the trade floor at this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba at the Durban International Convention Centre (Durban ICC) in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking at the unveiling, Michelle Constant, a member of the South African Tourism (SA Tourism) board, says one of the great challenges for South Africans is unlocking the great potential of its’ extraordinary historical and present culture.

“If we think about the five pillars of tourism, one of these is cultural roots and through this we can drive creativity. Today’s unveiling of this mural is an opportunity for we to demonstrate this,” said Constant.

She adds that art is key to opening the door to science, technology and engineering. “We are seeing a move from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to STEAM, which is the inclusion of art because art is key to opening those spaces.”

Four artists came together to create the mural, which took a year to plan and 10 days to create.

“It was very pressurised to get it done, but it was exciting to come together with the other artists and produce something we are very proud of,” says artist Samora Chapman.

He adds that while the mural represents Durban and its inclusive spaces, this extends to the broader South Africa. “It includes symbols of South Africa and represents an inclusive not exclusive space.”

Mural artist, Sphephelo Mnguni says it was a great experience being part of this mural and working with other artists. For him the mural welcomes the world and opens its’ arms to everyone. “I would like people to view it and feel a sense of unity, peace, love and positive vibes.”

Kev Seven, another of the artists involved has been a graffiti artist for 12 to 15 years. “This mural is significant not only because it is one of a kind, but because it is the first mural of this kind in the Durban ICC.”

Constant encouraged visitors to the Africa Travel Indaba 2019 to find the time to stand in front of the mural, take a selfie and share it to the world. “We need the rest of the world to acknowledge our extraordinary culture.”

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