BIC has announced the winners of its 2021 Art Master Africa competition, with three of the top 10 Art Masters announced hailing from South Africa. This includes Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Astral Msekeli, a 22-year-old Security Guard from Ophongolo, who was named South Africa’s national winner. The competition encourages talent across Africa and the Middle East to showcase their creativity and create a piece of art, using the famous BIC Ball Pen.
The winners included one continent-wide winner as well as 11 winners from countries within the Africa region.
Ugandan artist Gayi Eric was named the 2021 BIC Art Master of Africa. His portrait titled Circle of Life was created using four BIC Ball Pens and took a total of 210 hours to complete.
Announced as second-place winner was Kamgaing from Cameroon, who developed the piece titled In My Room. In third place was the artist Odaro Franklin Osaivbie from Nigeria with his piece Entranced.
National winners across Africa were also announced and include:
- 2021 BIC Art Master of Morocco: Badr Labied for the artwork Enchantez la vie africaine.
- 2021 BIC Art Master of South Africa: Astral Msekeli for the artwork Ubuntu.
- 2021 BIC Art Master of Kenya: Stanley Were for the artwork Life is what you make it.
Commenting on his win, South Africa winner Astral Msekeli says, ‘Creativity is important to me because it allows you to open up your mind to new thoughts on life in general and also brings new ideas. I found out about the competition on Facebook and I knew I had to enter. My artwork Ubuntu was inspired by my 91-year-old grandmother who told me to value every aspect of life and to have compassion for every living being as well as nature. My dream is to open an art centre to build a space to allow young artists to create and showcase their work.’
The creative artwork was chosen from 6,350 entries submitted by more than 3,700 artists from 52 countries across the Middle East and Africa. Artists were requested to submit their creative work through the campaign’s dedicated microsite BICArtMaster.com. The work was shortlisted by a panel of judges including experts from BIC, renowned artists from the region, winners from previous Art Master Africa competitions, and art experts from Europe. Among the judges was previous South African BIC Art Master winner, Ennock Mlangeni.
The first place winner received a cash prize of USD 2000 (approximately R30,000), and will have their piece showcased at an online personalised gallery as well as at La Collection BIC – the company’s official contemporary art collection and exhibition. Second and third place winners have received a cash prize of USD 1000 (approximately R15,000) and USD 500 (approximately R7,300) respectively. Winners from across the region have received cash prizes as well as BIC hampers.