Bono finds healing in her artwork

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Visual artist Bono Dzivhani from Tshivhulani, outside Sibasa, has found a therapeutic outlet to deal with the trauma she experienced as a rape victim, which not only left scars on her body but also on her spirit. Bono channels her emotions into extraordinary works of art, demonstrating how creativity can be a powerful tool for healing.

Her exceptional artwork ranges from lively cartoons adorning walls to painted clothes that tell stories of survival and strength. She also started making baby cots from old pallets, which she paints and decorates in bright, happy colours.

The nightmare ordeal Bono went through happened two years ago. “I got raped when I was 23. Instead of giving in to despair, I found solace and empowerment in the strokes of a paintbrush and the careful craftsmanship of each baby cot I make. At first, I started drawing cartoons as a way to deal with the trauma, and from there on I just went with it. I visualise my art like in a dream and paste them onto a wall, paper, canvas, fabric, and many other things, and it inspires me. Maybe I inherited it from my father, Aggrey Mashudu Dzivhani. He is an inspirational writer who is also very artistic. I live on a farm where there’s quietness and I am surrounded by wildlife, like birds and insects,” she said.

Bono finished her Matric at Mphaphuli High School in 2016, after which she enrolled at the Vhembe TVET College to study civil engineering. However, she dropped out before she completed her N4 qualification after what had happened to her.

“Since I began this journey in arts, I have received such overwhelming support from my clients. The only challenge I face is the capital to establish my artwork as a business, but I believe that, somehow, things will fall in place for me,” she said.



Bono Dzivhani from Tshivhulani expresses herself through drawing cartoons on walls, canvases and clothes and making baby cots. Photo supplied.


By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.






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