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KANTEKA: An exhibition of low-fired ceramics and beadwork

KANTEKA observes the MTN Art Collection and selects items specific to Africa’s indigenous artistic practices – particularly low pit-fired ceramics and the tradition of beadwork.

KANTEKA MTN Foundation
Emma Damane, Vessel

KANTEKA is the first exhibition curated by MTN’s Art Collection Graduate, Katlego Lefine. He has taken the approach of exhibiting the above-mentioned objects alongside contemporary artworks that either refer to these old modes of creation or are influenced by them.
     Furthermore, the focus of this endeavour is to celebrate and honour the cultures and female individuals who are custodians and vessels of this generational information and practice.
     The title of the exhibition, KANTEKA, is an archaic name denoting a matriarchal ruler or sovereign from ancient East or North Africa and is used in this context to highlight the contributions of female artists to world culture.
     According to Abarim Publications (, the contemporary name ‘Candice’ is a variant spelling of ‘Candace’, a name that appears in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Bible. The English got the name from the Greek Κανδακη (Kandake), which was ultimately derived from a very ancient Kushite word kdke meaning ‘queen mother’. Originally, Candace was not really a personal name but rather a Nubian (Cushite or Ethiopian) authoritative title, not unlike pharaoh or caesar. This name occurs once in the Bible, in Acts 8:27.
     KANTEKA will run until the end of February 2019 at the MTN Innovation Centre, No. 216 14th Avenue in Fairlands, Johannesburg. To view the exhibition or to book a guided tour and walkabout, please contact Katlego Lefine at

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