Imbali is a professional training provider of art, crafts and design skills and arts and culture teacher education. With 25 years of experience, Imbali is a leader in its field. As a nonprofit organisation (NPO), the organisation focuses on the disadvantaged in society.
Its vision is to change people’s lives through art. Imbali is committed to achieving and maintaining a leadership role in the arts, crafts and design education and training sector through upholding high standards of training and professional teacher development, emphasising creativity and innovation in everything it does.
Imbali is characterised by the following key attributes:
- Helping individuals reach their full potential as artists, crafters and teachers;
- Contributing to the development of a vibrant artistic and cultural economy in South Africa;
- Excellence, innovation and mastery in the arts and crafts sectors; and
- Upliftment, sharing and cooperation between arts, crafts, design and other disciplines.
With this set of values Imbali will continue to grow and set new standards in the fields of craft production and design and arts teacher training in South Africa.
Imbali is highly experienced in the field of crafts and design skills training and arts and culture teacher development. It provides the highest quality education and training as well as crafts products and services to its participants and clients.
The organisation offers a three-year crafts training programme from its studios in Newtown, Johannesburg, and various in-service teacher training courses in four provinces of South Africa. It also designs and produces craft products to order and to sell in its shop at Museum Africa. A percentage of the proceeds from its products and orders goes to the crafters themselves and towards buying more materials.
Imbali combines high standards of creativity and inventiveness with sound learner-centered educational principles. A keen aesthetic sense infuses all it does.
Imbali seeks to build on its track record of success to empower individuals to change their lives through arts, craft and design.
Sello Mdlane graduated in 2010 from the Imbali three-year crafts training programme. In 2011, he won first prize in the textile category at the CIT:Y Festival (a Community Development initiative by the City of Joburg’s Arts, Culture and Heritage Directorate). This was a bursary of R20 000 which he used to fund an internship with Imbali in 2012. He spent time working in the Imbali studio developing his own range of textiles. These were launched at the Imbali 2012 year-end exhibition ‘Work from the heArt’ at Campbell House in Johannesburg. Almost all his textiles were sold at this exhibition and Sello's career as a textile designer was launched. Mdlane has great potential and will go far with his original and innovative designs.
“Imbali has helped me to become an artist and grow my business in textile designing. I have now become my own boss,” explains Mdlane
Bethuel Mapheto acquired an NQF 2 qualification in Craft Production from Imbali in 2005. The end of year Imbali exhibition gave him a platform to display his work, which largely consists of unique wall art using plastic bottle caps. He met a good cross-section of craft people at the exhibition and started supplying galleries and shops across the country, including Kim Sacks and the Spaza Gallery. Mapheto has exhibited at shows such as Decorex, and won numerous awards, including first prize in the 2007 Johannesburg CIT:Y Merchandise Competition. He registered Noko Designs in 2005 and has his own studio and showroom at the Bus Factory in Newtown. He has also exhibited his products at numerous overseas trade shows in countries such as Italy, Brazil and Korea. This international exposure has helped to establish Mapheto as one of the leading young designers in South Africa today.
Mavis Taole gained a NQF 2 qualification in Craft Production through Imbali in 2003 and a NQF4 qualification in Craft Enterprise in 2004-5. She registered her own business, Rare-Zolution Design and Craft in 2005, based on the money raised from the products she created on the Imbali programme using recycled cans. Besides running her own business, Taole has worked as an art educator at the Origins Centre at Wits University and also conducts training focusing on recycling for other organisations. She coordinates exhibitions for other crafters and is considered a recycling expert. She has worked as an assistant curator (World Expo in Shanghai 2010, Art Mundi in Brazil 2009, Corporate Village in Cape Town for the Department of Arts and Culture 2012) and facilitated workshops (Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy art week, and the Diepsloot Community Art Outreach Programme). In 2012, her company was one of 10 to be chosen to participate in the South African Breweries Kickstart Programme where she had the opportunity to learn business skills and financial management through the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
To view the Imbali Visual Literacy Project in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.