Arts & Crafts

Arts & Crafts

The Ribolla Arts Route 

As Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge was one of the first properties worldwide to be accredited with the FTTSA trademark, one of the main aims is to showcase, and promote the local artists and crafters in the region. One of the ways we do this is via the promotion of the Ribolla arts route (see activities page), but another way we do this is via the internal promotion of the artists in the region. This area is incredibly diverse and rich in art and culture ad is fortunate enough to be home to the Venda “Big Five”- which, each one in their own right has gained international acclaim via their various mediums. Shiluvari showcases this art in the décor and display work at the Lodge, and various places of these various artists can be seen throughout. 

One of the other philosophies in one of the support of local procurement. This is evident in the décor of the rooms – from the wonderfully vibrant Madi a Thavha cloth, to the handmade cupboards Rivoni Society of the Blind, the Mashamba potters, batik works of Tsonga Textiles – this fabulous array of art is unique in every room and is a great tribute to the artist we are lucky enough to have in our midst.

A tribute to John Baloyi

One of the wonderfully talented artists in the region tragically died in a car accident in July 2006. John’s gallery still lives on, through his family and the students he diligently taught prior to his death. 

Shiluvari, in honour of this artist, has a number of his works on display at the Lodge and encourage our guests to visit the wonderfully eclectic “Rural Gallery” in the Mukhondeni area… 

A number of John’s pieces are still on display in JHB, and can be purchased via catalogue.

The Ribolla Arts Route List of Artists

Jackson Hlungwani

The Doyen of Limpopo artists who has been the pioneer in developing the woodcarving fraternity. Jackson is world renown with is works gracing galleries and private collections around the globe. He has been a mentor and teacher to many of the artists listed below.


Khathutshelo Mufamadi

Khatu, one of the young up and coming artists was a student of the late John Baloyi. A wood carver as well as writing poetry, Khatu is also a musician focusing on traditional music.


Thomas Kubayi

One of Jackson Hlungwani’s protégé Thomas’wood carvings are displayed around the world. Thomas is also very active in initiatives to develop and train children in the art of woodcarving. 

Tel: 072 180 2398

Justice Mugwena

Justice developed an interest in wood carving at an early age and has had Thomas Kubayi as a mentor over the past 5 years. 
His carvings reflect both Venda and 
Shangaan spiritual life.
Tel: 073 274 0543 

Avhashoni Mainganye

Avhashoni is one of the most versatile and talented artists in Limpopo. Working in various mediums he has become known as one of the foremost teachers in the art world. Widely traveled locally and internationally, he has had his works exhibited around the world. Avhashoni’s art activities include:- 
  • Watercolour, acrylic and oil painting
  • Sculpture in wood, metal and stone
  • Lino and screenprinting
Tel: 084 725 9613

Thomas Kubayi

One of Jackson Hlungwani’s protégé Thomas’wood carvings are displayed around the world. Thomas is also very active in initiatives to develop and train children in the art of woodcarving. 

Tel: 072 180 2398

Sarah Munyai

Mukhondeni Pottery is a co-operative that started under the leadership of Sarah Munyai. Known as the matriarch in the art community, Sarah, and her fellow potters have established the renowned black graphite and red ochre pots as the signature pottery works of 


Phineas Masuvhele

Phineas comes from a long line of drum makers. Learning from his father Phineas has established himself as one of the foremost wood carvers and drum makers in SA. One of his drums, the Millenium Drum, was exhibited at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg 2002.

Tel: 072 536 0868

David Murathi

David lives at Tshakuma, in the heartland of Venda wood carvers. At an early age he came under the influence of his uncle Churchill Madzivhandila (a well-known woodcarver) and started carving at the age of 18. David’s works have been exhibited around the world. 

Tel: 072 632 7991 

Churchill Madzivhandila

One of the elder statesmen of the Venda art world, Churchill is well known for his striking wood carvings that reflect socio-political issues in SA today. He has a major role as a mentor to many of the younger artists in the region. Art galleries and collectors worldwide have 
his pieces in their collection. 

Tel: 015 581 6256

Lucky Makamu

Starting out as metal worker making jewellery, Lucky became a driver for Jackson Hlungwani and became involved in woodcarvings under Jackson’s tutorship. His pieces reflect the rich diversity of Shangaan culture. 

Tel: 073 326 2172

Noira Mabasa

Noira is the foremost artist in our region with recognition of her works worldwide. One of her signature works depicting the floods of 2000 grace the Union Buildings in Tshwane. Working in both wood and clay Noira hosts international students in the art world.

Tel: 072 632 7991

Johannes Maswanganyi

Johannes had a vision as a child that stimulated him to become an artist. He had made his mark as a wood carver, potter and bead worker. He has had exhibitions in SA
and Europe.

Tel: 072 107 8730

Owen Ndou

Owen’s sculptures are influenced by traditional culture/religious and socio-political events. His well- known carving of Nelson Mandela and FW De Klerk was lauded as very powerful and symbolic reflection of the new SA. He has embarked on a development programme for local youth who show an interest in the art of Venda wood carvers. 

Tel: 073 326 2172

Azwimpheli Magoro

After having to leave school at a young age Azwi found himself becoming a shepherd and lived in the mountains in Venda. This stimulated his artistic ability. Using rudimentary tools made from sharpened bicycle spokes and screw drivers he started carving cooking spoons etc. Azwi decided to return to complete his schooling excelling in art. Mentored by well established artists such as Avashoni Maswanganye and Meshack Raphalalani he focused his carvings on Venda cultural life. His work graces many galleries and private collections around the world.

Tel: 072 632 7991 

Fair Trade in Tourism

Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge has embraced the philosophy of responsible and sustainable tourism since the inception of business in 1995.
SSL played a partnership role when the first pilot project, the Fair Trade in Tourism Initiative, was launched by the IUCN in 1999. The pilot project was focused on the on the Ribolla Tourism Association in the north of Limpopo and Shiluvari was involved as a partner from the beginning.

Fair Trade in Tourism SA established a trademark accreditation process and Shiluvari was one of the first 4 tourism businesses to be awarded the trademark in October 2003.

We are exceptionally proud of the recognition FTTSA and see ourselves as ambassadors for the principles and philosophy of the organisation, both locally and internationally. Shiluvari also recognises the crucial role the various host communities, artists and Cultural groups have played in our having been accredited with the FTTSA trademark.

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