Albert Mangena's heart embroidered artwork

Kaross is proud to announce that we won the Innibos National Craft award 2018, held in Mbombela during the Innibos Arts Festival.

It is an honour to be chosen among so many talented South African craftsman. We salute them all! We are immensely grateful for the platform- in this way we are all working together towards a brighter future for South African Craft Art.

The work entitled: Albert Mangena’s Heart depicts a Sotho man surrounded by his family. He is the centre of the household, and he also keeps his family members dear.

According to Albert; he lives and works in peace. The halo above his head depicts his sense of contentment. He also said that his children are all good people and they look after each other. In this way he is regarded as a respected and successful father. One can also interpret it as he is “holy” to them, he provides for them all. He is the leader of the household, as is tradition for most Sotho families.

The monochromatic colour way we chose in the depiction of the family, suits their environment and their village well. They stay in Nyagelane village, an area that is struggling with water supply.

The Two Traditionally Dressed ladies on either side of the core family portrait are his two sisters; Sophi and Nora. They are the two symbols of their Sotho heritage in their traditional dress.

This work of African art is a combination of hand-embroidery and applique. Irma van Rooyen with her incredible skill in creative direction was instrumental in the inception and completion of the work. Try Nkuna and Irma, worked relentlessly stitch by stick to create this masterpiece.

This artwork is available online now at:

Mangena Women Embroidering

magena family

Embroidered cloth details