1992 The project starts producing cushion covers and shirts, selling them at craft markets and to shops such as the African Art Centre in Durban and Art Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.
1995 Mapula project participates in an exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum "Embroidered Impressions" curated by Ms Janétje van der Merwe and Ms Dirkie Offringa, the curator of the Pretoria Art Museum. This exhibition includes embroideries from embroidery collectives in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
1996 Mapula participates in "Embroidered Impressions" on the island of Naxos, Greece, under the auspices of the Naxos Catholic Centre. The exhibition is curated by Professor Karin Skawran, Mr Klaus Pfeiffer (Naxos) and Ms Janétje van der Merwe and officially opened by the South African Ambassador to Greece, His Excellency Mr Dawie Jacobs.
For this exhibition the group starts to embroider large cloths to be used as table cloths and as wall hangings.
1997 Mapula creates two groups. Both groups market under the name of Mapula. Group One is co-ordinated by Mrs Emily Maluleke and Group Two is coordinated by Mrs Rossina Maepa, shown on the right.Approximately 80 women are members of the project.
1998 MAPULA, in collaboration with the KAROSSWORKERS is selected to exhibit at the KLEIN KAROO KUNSTEFEES during April 1998 in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.
1998 Works by Rossina Maepa, Selinah Makwana, Irene Mathe and Josephine Rakubu are chosen for the WOMEN’S VOICE EXHIBITION, in Stuttgard, Germany, under the patronage of the South African Ambassador in Germany and sponsored by Daimler Benz. Facilitated by Karin Lijnes and David Koloane.
1998 Mapula cloths are used as back drops at the Ambassadorial reception for the South African Soccer team, Bafana Bafana in France.
1998 Mapula’s works are accepted by a selected panel of judges for the FNB VITA CRAFT NOW AWARDS EXHIBITION, organised by the Crafts Council of South Africa.
1998 Sherley Minyuku wins a merit award of R1 000 for her embroidered cloth, GOLDEN JAGUAR, at the FNB VITA CRAFT NOW AWARDS EXHIBITION, organised by the Crafts Council of South Africa.
1998 Selina Makwana’s work (see picture) is bought by the Gertrude Posel Art Gallery (University of the Witwatersrand) and by the Unisa Art Gallery, Pretoria for their permanent art collections
1999 Sherley Menyuku’s work is included in the corporate collection of a Swiss Textile Company in Cape Town.
1999 The Mapula Project is incorporated in the first year History of Art Course at Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa
1999 Mapula participates in a group exhibition at ABSA (Banking Company) head office in Johannesburg. The exhibition is curated by Mrs Cecilia Loedorf
1999 HRH Queen Elizabeth presented with a Mapula cloth during her visit to South Africa. Click Here
2000 The Mapula Group wins the overall gold Award of R10 000.00 at the prestigious FNB Vita Craft Now Millennium Awards Exhibition.
2000 Work by Maggie Ringane is included in the SASOL (large South African petroleum company) permanent collection
2000 The Mapula project appears in the exhibition, "Material Matters" , curated by Dr Brenda Schmamann, Senior lecturer in History of Art at Wits University. The exhibition travels to five major galleries in South Africa - starting at the Grahamstown Festival, proceeding to Durban, then Port Elizabeth, the National Art Museum in Cape Town finishing with its last exhibition at the Gertrude Posel Gallery at Wits University, Johannesburg.
2000 Unisa Art Gallery purchases works by Elsie Maluleke and Stella Mnisi for it’s permanent collection.
2001 Works by Sybil Modisha, Pinky Resenga and Engelina Maseko is selected for the permanent collection of Africa Bank
2001 Alliance Francaise Pretoria hosts 6 Mapula exhibitions country wide including one in Gabarone, Botswana and one in Swaziland - this coincides with Mapula’s 10th anniversary
2001 Work by Christina Mabasa is selected for Innovative Threads Exhibition at Nova Constantia, Cape Town
2001 Works by Mapula group is selected for the Women of Tshwane exhibition curated by Dr Lydia de Waal for the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
2001 The Mapula Group together with 9 other crafts groups are selected to present their skills and work at the Oxo Tower during the CELEBRATE SOUTH AFRICA Festivities from 26 to 28 May 2001.
Mrs Rossina Maepa is invited by the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (SA) to represent the Mapula Embroidery Group at the South African Festival in London.
2001 US photographer, Roland Freeman visits the Mapula Group in July 2001. He orders special cloths for his international Exhibitions.
2001 The Mapula Project receives the SIGBI award
2001 Mrs Ouma Sithole, long standing member of the project passes away on 23 Aug 2001
2002 Works of Sherley Minyuku and Pinky Resenga are selected for the Innovative Threads Exhibition at Nova Constantia, Cape Town. The exhibition will also be taken to the UK and Ireland by Margie Garratt
2002 Mrs Zanele Mbeki, wife of the President of South Africa, purchases 65 Mapula cloths to give as gifts to the partners of the Visiting Heads of States during the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug/Sept 2002
2002 Mapula project is selected to participate in the Imbizu Crafts Exhibition curated by Dept of Arts and Culture at the Ubuntu Village during the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Aug/Sept 2002
2002 Works by members of the Mapula Project are selected for the FNB Vita Crafts Award Exhibition at Museum Africa Aug/Sept 2002. Members whose works were exhibited are: Rossina Maepa, Selinah Makwana, Josephine Rakubu, Maggie Ringane, Selina Mahlangu
2002 Mrs Dorcas Ngobeni, coordinator of Mapula’s Group 1, passes away suddenly on 2 August 2002
The Smithsonian Institute invited South Africa to participate in this big event. The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, the National Arts Council and the Smithsonian Institute are funding this event.
Alltogether 91 South-African craft workers and performing artists will be representing South Africa at the Festival. The group left for Washington DC on June 19th and will be returning after the festival. The Smithsonian Institute purchased a large amount of stock from the project.
During January 1998 the women of the Mapula Embroidery Project decided to form two groups. The one group remained as the Mapula Embroidery Project, coordinated by Emily Maluleka and assisted by Dorcas Ngobeni and the second group was named Group 25 (approximately 25 members in the Group), coordinated by Rossinah Maepa, assisted by Josephine Rakubu. The members of Group 25 work from their homes and uses Rossinah's home as a depot or base once a month to collect fabric and embroidery cotton as well as their monthly income from sales.
The members of the Mapula group meet in a classroom at the Sisters of Mercy Adult Education Centre four days a week. Group 25 still uses the facilities ie sewing machines etc at the Sisters of Mercy Centre. Marketing continues under the Mapula brand name, coordinated by Janetje van der Merwe, a Soroptimist and member of staff at the University of South Africa. Soroptimists Ina Brand, Lise Thompson and Felicia Fourie coordinate the Magnolia Dell Craft market while women from both groups are responsible for the marketing of the products at Magnolia Dell. Antoinette du Plessis from the Department of History of Art and Fine Arts , Unisa, assists with product development.
Both groups' work was accepted by a selected panel of judges for the FNB VITA CRAFT NOW AWARDS EXHIBITION, organised by the Crafts Council of South Africa. This prestigious crafts exhibition was held from 3 December 1998 till 24 January 1999 at the GOOD HOPE GALLERY (WILLIAM FEHR COLLECTION) THE CASTLE , CAPE TOWN. Sherley Minyuku won a merit award of R1 000 for her embroidered cloth, GOLDEN JAGUAR. Needless to say, we are all very proud and thrilled for Sherley's sake.
During 1998 some of the members of the two groups' work was
selected for participation in the WOMEN'S VOICE EXHIBITION , in
Stuttgart, Germany, under the Patronage of the South African
Ambassador in Germany and sponsored by Daimler Benz. This was
facilitated by Karin Lijnes, an artist whose work was also selected for
this prestigious exhibition. Karin has been doing some collaborative art
work with some of the women in the Winterveldt.
Mapula cloths were also used as back drops at the Ambassadorial reception for Bafana Bafana in France.
MAPULA, in collaboration with the KAROSSWORKERS was selected to exhibit at the KLEIN KAROO KUNSTEFEES during April 1998 in Oudtshoorn.
Another important exhibition at which their work was included was: INNOVATIVE THREADS at Nova Constantia, Cape Town, curated by Margie Garrett and then also at the conference shop for ISME (The International Society for Music Education).
All in all it has been a good year and we hope to reach R100 000 turnover for this year. Of this money R80 000 goes directly to the embroiderers and the balance buys the fabric, the embroidery cotton and pays for transport , postage and telephone calls. Soroptimist International Pretoria has donated R4 000 towards the purchasing of fabric and thread for the training of the new members, as well as R400 towards their annual Xmas Party. The Group also received R1 500 from Soroptimists in Norway.