Simon Moshapo is used to being discovered — it first happened when he was a boy and a king chanced upon his sculptures. His latest breakthrough, at the age of 63, was winning one of five merit awards in Sasol’s New Signatures art competition. He has had a stunted career with a few spikes of 15 minutes of local fame. But the Sasol award is the big one, he says at his home in Indermark in Limpopo, with just a hint of a wavering voice. It has finally put him where he belongs, finally made him an artist. Indermark is the quintessential town you have never heard of, part of the Blouberg district municipality, also fairly unknown. Municipal employees and councillors spend 40% of the budget on salaries, but they have dealt with invasions of a new housing scheme and assisted one worker being evicted from a farm this financial year.

Created in the 1960s when people forcibly removed from Venda had to be housed somewhere, Indermark is at the foot of the mountains where King Malaboch had ...

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