Regardless of whether there was any historical significance to the brand-new wall painting of herself, made by the famous street artist Vhils, that had replaced that of Jan van Riebeeck in the vibrant Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, Yvonne Chaka Chaka said she was humbled and overwhelmed by emotion.
The singer said she felt she was being celebrated for all her hard effort, spanning a career of more than thirty years.
Also known as “The Princess of Africa”, the internationally known South African singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, humanitarian and teacher was chosen from among five other well respected artists by Hennessey, for their Women’s Month project.
She said although she didn’t understand what it all meant, she found it quite interesting and was honoured to be a part of it.
“This was not done by my efforts alone, it was a collective effort. This painting makes me happy, I feel like I am part of a greater community, I feel appreciated as a South African!” she said.
When asked if she thought the painting of herself and the fact that it replaced a historical figure would have any significance for today’s youth, she answered she did not think it had anything to do with history.
She explained that she could remember how as a young child in school she had been taught that Jan van Riebeck was one of the first white settlers, and that his presence was the beginning of trouble, but that was all.
And her replacement would not make that big a historical contribution.
She said she was just humbled that her legacy was being preserved, as it opened the door for others to be equally remembered and commemorated, like Brenda Fassie and others.
The Arts and Culture and Labour departments also took to their social media platforms to share their appreciation for the art work.