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Sculpture Finalist 2016/Wonder Shangase

My work reflects a dichotomy between Christianity and African Indigenous Religion...

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My work reflects a dichotomy between Christianity and African Indigenous Religion. I focus on the distinctions and contradictions between these two different religions.

I define religion, in the context of my work, as when one honours or worships the higher being. I have observed contemporary South Africans engaging in both these religions equally.

Christians regard these people as hypocrites. Many African Christians still patronise African Indigenous Religion. I am a Christian but I am born into an African Indigenous Religion family.

My work depicts a juxtaposition of the human body and a sheep’s head. In the Bible, sheep are used as offerings, for example, Abraham slaughters a sheep to thank God in Genesis 22: 1-19. In African Indigenous Religion, sheep are also slaughtered to thank ancestors.

Some African scholars stress that ancestors are regarded as part of a family’s elders and have enhanced powers to bless, protect or punish the families. This tells me that both religions have similar ways of worshiping the higher being.

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