Honouring the Spirit of South Africa’s Youth with Seth Pimentel

June 16, 1976 is a date that is synonymous with South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. It is the day that symbolises the rise of our nation’s youth against oppression. It is the day that changed the course of our country’s history. The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival powered by Nandos commemorates the youth of 1976, by celebrating freedom of expression through various creative platforms, such as music, poetry, and art.

Seth Pimentel (also known as ‘African Ginger’), is just one of the young artists who will be appearing; whose visual narrative is matched with his rebellious nature; who is re-shaping the expression of creativity that embodies the festival.

BASA recently commissioned Seth to create a mural that honours the spirit of South Africa’s youth, especially for the launch of the Basha Uhuru Festival in June. We met up with him during the installation of his piece, to find out more about this young creative force.

“The piece is a symbol of the growth of South African youth, using a series of plants and trees to fill the space within the interior of the figure’s silhouette. It is a visual representation of the idea of ‘growth’ and ‘transcendence’.”

Q: Tell us a bit more about the inspiration behind your mural for Basha Uhuru.

SP: The mural was inspired by the growth within South Africa, 25 years’ post-apartheid. I wanted to encapsulate that energy in the most simplified way.

Q: As a young artist, how is the Festival significant to you?

SP: The Festival gives [many] young creatives a platform to be heard and appreciated. That’s all we need in this world – support from others. It grows us.

Q: What important conversations do you think we, the youth, should be having?

SP: I think we should start focusing on our mental health. We need to change the preconceived notions of mental health, as well as [attendant] destructive coping mechanisms, like substance abuse. Substance abuse is killing us. But we need to cut it at its core.

Q: It’s Youth Month. What does that mean to you?

SP: Freedom to be myself. Reminding myself that I am still young. To appreciate growth.

Q: What does being a part of Basha Uhuru Festival mean to you, and what are you most looking forward to?

SP: I’m super stoked to see the other artists – their work; to be inspired by them. Basha is a platform for the youth to be inspired by the youth. We need to preserve our energy and appreciate each other.

Since taking his journey to Instagram to showcase his art, Seth has become an advocate for mental health issues, becoming more vocal about issues in the art community and seeking to create spaces for young artists in South Africa to grow in their creative expression.

See more of Seth’s work on his Instagram page

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