Innibos National Craft Awards 2020 goes digital

Despite the coronavirus lockdown, the fourth annual Innibos National Craft Awards Exhibition and Prizegiving is going ahead – and you can join in from the comfort of your home.

A virtual exhibition on Friday, 26 June, will showcase the 60 shortlisted works – with radio personality Carol Sanderson introducing each piece to viewers – before the Mpumalanga MEC for the Department of Culture, Sport and Recreation, Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, announces the winners and declares the online music and performing arts festival, Innibos Digital, open.

“Cancelling the 2020 National Craft Awards was not an option,” says Sandra Jacobs, one of the founders of the iconic Innibos festival. “We had to innovate and find a way to honour the entrants who invested their time and skill into the competition and who were prepared to have their work publicly scrutinised.”

“By moving to the digital arena, we are giving people who have been denied their fix of arts and culture since the start of the lockdown, something to look forward to,” says John-Anthony Boerma of ArtAid Africa, who curated the awards on behalf of Innibos.

Although organisers were concerned that the global pandemic would negatively impact the number of entries, a record 1 360 entries were received.

“What is exciting, is the number of newcomers – people whose names are not known in craft circles but whose work is so technically skilled and creative that they made it into the final 60. Just as heartening, is the number of entrants from far-flung areas of the country. There is little doubt that we have achieved our mandate of presenting an inclusive competition,” says John-Anthony.

This year, four categories were added, thanks to the support of the National Department of Arts and Culture. The categories recognise craftsmen who make a living from their talent and who use recycled or heritage material. Winners in the Corporate Gifts, Beaded Craft Products, Craft Produced Using Recycled Materials and Souvenirs categories will each receive R20 000 while the overall winner and the two runners-up will take home R50 000, R20 000 and R15 000, respectively.

The 2020 judges, who will determine the seven winners out of the 60 shortlisted works, will be sent videos showing all aspects of the entry plus photographs showing size of scale and these will be used in the final adjudication process.

The judges are Malibongwe Tyilo, Associate Editor of Maverick Life and style consultant; Ayanda Bala-Nyamimba, Craft and Design Institute: Market Development; Maureen Waldeck, Brand Manager of Tourvest Destination Retail; Anton Bosch, master ceramicist; and Niel Nortje, MTN SA Foundation’s Art Collection Manager.

Innibos Digitaal

“While the Standard Bank Innibos Festival will now take place in December, we are proud to offer an exciting online line-up of archived and new music and theatre productions to our more than 100 000 regular festival-goers who have come to associate June with good music and great vibes,” says Sandra.

Innibos Digitaal will start streaming straight after the craft exhibition and products will be available until December. Tickets will be available from Computicket from 15 June.

Online exhibition

The craft exhibition opens at 4:30pm on Friday, 26 June. The link to the event will be shared on the Innibos National Craft Awards Facebook page – an hour before. Tickets won’t be sold – the event is free to all.

For more information, please WhatsApp Jan Bhuda on 071 621 3597 or email John Anthony Boerma at

To keep up to date with the Innibos National Craft Awards, like us on Facebook: @InnibosNationalCraftAwards.