Lefifi Tladi-South Africa LEFIFI TLADI was born in Lady Selbourne, Pretoria in 1949. As a dynamic young man in his twenties, Lefifi used art to connect with and mobilise the Black Consciousness Movement. In 1969, he co-founded the popular band Dashiki and worked very closely with Geoff Mphakati, “his mentor”, who at the time was working for the US Embassy promoting works by black artists, sculptors, writers, poets and musicians. He then opened a small museum for contemporary Black Art in Ga-Rankuwa, west of Pretoria in 1970, which was forced to close four years later due to the onslaught of the security police. Lefifi was arrested by the security police soon after the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. He had been an obvious target because of his role in the growth of Black Consciousness. Lefifi went into exile in Botswana and continued pursuing his passion for art through several exhibitions in Gaborone. He co-promoted with Geoff Mphakati a touring exhibition in Sweden of works by artists from Pretoria and artists in exile. In 1977, he went to Nigeria as part of the ANC contingent to participate as a poet at the cultural festival FESTAC. In 1980, he studied art at Gerlesborgsskolan in Stockholm, Sweden. He used his art to create awareness of the South African plight all over Europe. These included Art against Apartheid in Holland; End White Rule in Black South Africa at SIDA U Forum, Sweden, and the Nobel Prize Exhibition Wole Soyinka at Puck Theatre, Sweden in 1986. In 1988, Lefifi had a poetry and art exhibition with young South African artists, ARTIMO (Art in Motion). In 2004, he performed with Zimology, founded by Zim Ngqawana at the North Sea Jazz festival. Now based in Sweden, he often comes to South Africa ”to impart the little knowledge I have about the arts to my soulful people. I love poetry because it is an enlightening form of art and quite challenging to creativity.”