My name is Keysha Opperman and I live in Imizamo Yethu.I come from a poor background, but I know that I am lucky because I am free. People like Nelson Mandela and many others fought for our freedom and our rights. We all have a voice and a (human) right to be heard. I am proud to have been part of the mural painting for Human Right Day. On containers in the Hangberg community of Hout Bay, we painted: “Ek se, respek Hout Bay,” which translates to “I say, respect Hout Bay.” For me this means not only having respect for where we live but most importantly for all the people who live here. To not judge someone by the colour of their skin, their beliefs or where they live.

To know that we are all equal. 

National Shakespeare Competition

Lalela Project’s Romeo and Juliet was a modern day narration of the iconic love story which saw Romeo banished to the Eastern Cape, police sirens being used and paramedics arriving at the scene of the lovers’ tragic deaths.

Lalela Project’s Romeo and Juliet was a modern day narration of the iconic love story which saw Romeo banished to the Eastern Cape, police sirens being used and paramedics arriving at the scene of the lovers’ tragic deaths.

The Lalela Impact | July 2015  

Being in Lalela means exploring great opportunities and engaging in many awesome activities such as participating in the national Shakespeare Festival, in a play directed by the most wonderful and inspiring director Claire Baker. The drama ‘Romeo & Juliet’ a love story/tragedy about two people from warring families who fall in love. Taking part in the play as a narrator has taught me self awareness, discipline, versatility, confidence and helped me discover my strengths and weaknesses. So far the journey has been absolutely amazing, seeing all the stunning costumes, props and sound system being arranged. Having to perform at the Artscape is a huge opportunity for me and an honour .The production has been exquisite,driven by young talented and beautiful actors and actresses. For all the dedication and hard work Lalela and our director have arranged a way of recognising the hard work by awarding us a tin of golden biscuits. This has been effective in encouraging young minds into putting out your best, because what you put in is what you get out.

A very special thanks to Annie’sAngels for the wonderful costumes! 

Lalela Students Travel to NYC!

The Lalela Impact | July 2015

This was the first time I travelled to the US, a journey I have dreamt about for many years. I was fortunate to have travelledduring two of the biggest New York art fairs: Art fairs, Frieze and 154 African Art Contemporary.

My week in New York was jam-packed with visits to the Guggenheim, MOMA and the Natural History Museum. The students who accompanied myself and fellow colleague Loyiso Skoti, enjoyed evening walks around Times Square, tours around the city and walks in Central Park.The day of the fundraiser was very special as we met friends and sponsors who all contribute to making Lalela a success. We were treated to fantastic performances, a special one from Wyclef Jean, and very moving speeches from our students and members of management.

I am truly grateful to Lalela and the team for granting me the opportunity to embark on this journey and to have an experience that has been so beneficial to my work and art practice. 

The Lalela Impact | July 2015

On the 16th of May, Loyiso, Hasan, Ncedo and I arrived in New York. It was quite an overwhelming experience and I could not stop looking outside the car window and the tall buildings even though it made me dizzy.

I really enjoyed the everyday walks; they gave us a taste of the day in the life of a New Yorker. The place I related to the most was China Town. The place was really busy, something I am used to coming from the township. The Blue Man Group (amazing art and music) was fantastic; I loved the way they interacted with the audience. I also loved the tours of the art museums, namely the Guggenheim and MOMA.

The day of the fundraiser was the cherry on top of the cake. Working with Colin Cowlie’s team to set up the venue and having a personal mentoring experience with this extraordinary person fuelled my passion for events planning. 

The Art of Advertising

The Lalela Impact | July 2015

For the Art of Advertising we had to create a logo or sign for any business from our community. Many small businesses don’t havea name or logo that describes what they do to potential customers. Our facilitator taught us that through creativity we should be able to invite customers in and that often creativity can speak louder than words. We made posters that explain more about certain businesses, for example, hair salons, car washes, barber shops, fish and chip shops and more. The vision of this was to assistin getting the attention of the community and hopefully bringing in more customers. It was interesting to learn about the power of advertising and how creativity can make or break a business. 

The Lalela Scarf

The Lalela Impact | July 2015 

I was recently part of a photoshoot wearing scarves printed with artwork by Lalela artists. To tell a story through art, to have it printed onto a scarf AND to see someone wearing your art is an incredible feeling. There is a story behind all the art. And by wearing a scarf, one too becomes a part of the story woven into these scarves. It is a great thing to know your artwork is worn around the world through the Lalela scarf and to see people appreciating the creativity of Lalela students. It is a dream come true to know that our stories are being heard by the public. People will see and acknowledge our stories as the youth of communities such as Imizamo Yethu, Masiphumelele and Hangberg. I am very grateful to Lalela for the scarves, for sharing our stories.

To view our scarf collection, visit our store!

Leadership Hike with Learn to Lead


Lalela Project, in partnership with Adam Thomas and the team from Learn to Lead, is once again running The Young Leadership for Change programme. It is a twelve month programme that covers topics such as characteristics of good leadership, entrepreneurship and leading change in my community. This year we have 18 leaders from Hout Bay, Silikamva and Masiphumelele High schools attending. We kick started the year with a hike up the Vlakkenberg Mountain during which we discovered what leadership means to us in our own lives. 

Can You See the Future?


In honour of 20 years of Democracy in South Africa and coinciding with the 2014 General Elections, the Lalela Project Gallery at the One&Only exhibition entitled “Can you see the Future?” was launched in May 2014. Featuring artworks undertaken by students of Lalela Project, visitors to the exhibition were asked the question “After 20 years of Democracy in South Africa, what lies ahead?” Once the ‘Madiba ballot box’ is full, the answers will be interpreted and displayed as works of art by the students in Lalela Project Gallery. 

Cape Town Art Fair 2014


The Cape Town Art Fair was awesome! We as Lalela Project students were invited by the Sovereign Art Foundation to help with their interactive art wall. People were invited to draw on the art wall and leave a small donation. All money raised was donated

to Lalela Project. Our choir performed for all the VIP guests and sponsors and we got the opportunity to visit all the exhibitions at the Art Fair. Thank you to Sovereign Art Foundation for this wonderful opportunity!



Growth in KwaZulu-Natal

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Our COO, Cat Rieper visited Lalela Project Kwazulu Natal in February this year to meetour new team members. Zinthle Zulu joinedthe team as co-facilitator and Victor Shabalala as art consultant and co-facilitator. Our COO attended the workshops, met the students and saw the wonderful work the Kwazulu Natal team are doing at Oscarsberg Primary school. 

The Brothers Essop


Congratulations to our senior facilitators Hasan and Husain Essop, proud recipients of the 2014 Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Arts. The exhibition addresses the idea of global unrest through the lens of young Muslims living in Cape Town and features the twins’ characteristic large- scale photographic prints, as well as sculptural installations and video works. 

Photo Forward


Photography is one of my best, and favourite art mediums. Having Hasan and Husain teach us photography inspired by their own work helps me to see everyday life in a different light.

How to construct a photograph and make it tell a story, or at least what you want to highlight is really inspiring. *Photo Forward is a curriculum developed to encourage students to question the nature of inspiration and to create a chain photograph that will be passed on from students in Cape Town to those in Huntspoint, New York, and then to students in Uganda. 

Shakespeare Festival: A Midsummer Night's Dream


Being a part of Lalela Project has been an incredible experience, as we get opportunities that we wouldn’t normally be exposed to. When I heard our facilitator talking about auditions for A Midsummer Nights Dream I saw this as a great learning experience.

July holidays were spent rehearsing.I made awesome new friends from other communities. During this time I fell in love with acting and it is my dream to become an actor. On the night of the performance, the energy was high!I was really nervous but I just had to remember that I was committed and that we would be fine. Our families were so proud of us. They knew we were giving it our best. Since joining LalelaI have developed a strong passion for art and I have been fortunate to gain experience with the Shakespeare School Festival. Thank you Lalela for making this possible!


Jazz Festival Golf Day


Lalela Project was again the beneficiary of amazing support and generosity of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival Golf Day Auction Day at the Rondebosch Golf Club - not only were some of our Lalela Project artworks auctioned off, but we also met the honourable Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, as well as some of our entertainment and sporting stars. We were presented with a cheque by Billy Domingo, COO of ESP Afrika and Elouise Kelly, Head of Marketing, SABC. 

Art of Clay

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Clay was the best part of the holiday program for me. I’ve never made anything with clay before and I found that this project really taught me how to work with my hands in a gentle way. On the first day we made our clay pots and then painted them with bright colours. The next day we made clay self-portraits, with scarves, hats and gloves! Our facilitator Lwando gave us wonderful ideas to make objects that we could use in everyday life. Much of what we did for the three weeks of the holiday program was also learning how to create things that could be made from recycled objects.


Re-Designing Schools


During the holiday program we got an opportunity to work with Claire and Sergio from the One Love Studio. They showed us the murals they have done in South Africa, which was so inspiring.

We chose a wall at our school at Silikamva High, then we were given references to look at and choose to use in our planned artwork. On the first day we drew and took photos of the walls around our school. On the second day One Love taught us about enlarging our art for the wall, which we then painted with beautiful and bright colours. Painting with the One Love Studio was a great experience and I would like to thank Lalela for giving us the amazing opportunity to re-design our school.


The Art of Recycled Objects with Heath Nash


Heath Nash, an innovative, out-the-box environmentalist and artist was a guest facilitator during the July Holiday Program where he introduced us to his incredible work, as well as his colleagues who come from Zimbabwe.
They were also with us for the week and are very cool guys. I was very amazed by his work made out of recycled materials. I knew that what he would teach us for the next week would be of great use to us in the future. He mainly works with plastic and we used plastic bottles to make our own lampshades. I thank Heath Nash for his contribution. I’ve learnt a lot and his work has allowed me to think about how there is opportunity everywhere.


Art of Emoticons


Lalela taught us the Art of Emoticons. Emoticons are emotional facial expressions that show moods, and I was very excited to learn about them. With this curriculum we discussed texting and how we use emoticons to create our own language in this technological space. We really had to think out the box and come up with original ideas for our own unique and personal emoticons. Our emoticons were also used on the wall during the Hout Bay High exhibition that our parents came to. A lot of parents were there and I was happy to see my parents talk about my artwork. For the first time I felt special, like I have a chance in life. It was a very special moment.

in respect of the 67 years that Madiba spent in public service. We all painted a letter, word or phrase on different colour canvases that represent our Rainbow Nation. When put together, one of the quote that the high school students designed, said: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”


Madiba Words


This was a great curriculum as we all worked together on creating a

collaborative artwork based on aNelson Mandela quote to honour him. Madiba spent 27 years in prison fighting for us. We painted 67 tiles Mandela day means a lot to me. He did so much for us. He left us but we know that he loved all of us equally. He is my hero and I will never forget him.


Hout Bay Exhibit


In August Lalela hosted the very first Hout Bay High exhibition. We showed our parents the art we have been working on this year. I felt very proud to see my art up, and I didn’t know that so many parents were going to attend. It made me really happy to see all of them there, to see that they care about what we are doing. There were many community members that attended. The grade 8 - 12 students’ artwork was exhibited. Our parents were very proud to see our artwork in the exhibition.

My facilitators Husain Essop and Marc Oppelt gave a presentation to our parents and our principal Mr. Julias gave a speech on the importance of art for learners.