Zeitz MOCAA Collaborates with Athi-Patra Ruga for Annual Gala

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Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) has announced its collaboration with acclaimed South African artist, Athi-Patra Ruga, in anticipation of its highly anticipated Gala event set for Sunday, February 11, 2024.

Image courtesy of Zeitz MOCAA

The Gala stands as a revered celebration of art, marking the commencement of Cape Town Art Week and aligning with the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. This art fair also boasts numerous creative activations throughout the city. Setting the stage for this enchanting event is Athi-Patra Ruga, whose work embraces the motif of myth as a contemporary means of addressing the post-apartheid era. Ruga not only creates alternative identities but also utilizes these avatars as a method to satirize and scrutinize the prevailing political and social norms.

Athi-Patra Ruga
Image Courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga

A prominent highlight of the Gala is an exclusive art auction facilitated by Strauss & Co, showcasing works generously donated by an internationally recognized lineup of artists. This lineup includes William Kentridge, Senzeni Marasela, Mary Evans, Zandile Tshabalala, Unathi Mkonto, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Abdoulaye Konaté, as well as Alfredo Jaar. Noteworthy is the generous monetary contribution from South African artist Cinga Samson in support of the institution’s work.

Proceeds from the Gala contribute to the funding of Zeitz MOCAA’s curatorial and education programs. Renowned South African model and businesswoman, Jo-Ann Strauss, will serve as the emcee, bringing her charm and expertise to an uplifting evening which also features exclusive performances by South African singer and songwriter Simphiwe Dana and Capetonian artist Nobuhle Ashanti.

The Future Woman of Azania II – 2012 
Image Courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD

Additionally, the museum will present the prestigious Zeitz MOCAA Honorary Awards for Artistic Excellence and Philanthropic Achievement, acknowledging exceptional individuals in each category who have made remarkable contributions to the art ecology. It is a moment to honour visionaries shaping the thriving landscape of contemporary art in Africa.

Athi-Patra Ruga Somerset House South Africa Art Exhibition
Image Courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga

The Gala, a highly anticipated event, serves as a unique gathering for rejuvenation through communal support to one of Africa’s most prominent art institutions. This enchanting and galvanizing experience consolidates a common goal shared by private philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, aiming to support the arts.

The Gala also features a special invite-only Collateral Program for select VIP guests, hosted by Koyo Kouoh, Zeitz MOCAA Executive Director and Chief Curator. This five-day curated VIP program, running from Saturday, February 10, to Thursday, February 15, brings together some of the world’s most significant art collectors, museum directors, and also other influential players in the global arts industry to engage with our local art ecology.

Somagwaza: a Queen’s Herald, 2017 (Image Courtesy of Athi-Patra Ruga and WHATIFTHEWORLD)

Highlights of the program include a Walkabout of the reimagined Zeitz MOCAA collection exhibition titled Sala, led by Storm Janse van Rensburg, Zeitz MOCAA Senior Curator and also Head of Curatorial Affairs, along with co-curators, the 2023 museum fellowship cohort. Other activities include a visit to !Khwa Ttu, studio visits with notable artists residing and working in Cape Town, visits to galleries and art institutions, and cultivation and networking events with local collectors.

The Zeitz MOCAA VIP Collateral Program was made possible by Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO), 21 Nettleton, Silo Hotel, !Khwa ttu, Goodman Gallery, The One&Only, Ellerman House, SMAC, La Perla, Strauss & Co, and Brundyn Art and Culture.


Derrick Chidumebi is a creative writer and growth marketer hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Chemistry from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria, and is the founder of The Eko Place, a media/marketing agency based in Lagos, Nigeria. Currently, he serves as a writer for Art News Africa.

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