No.1 Art Award Inspires Artists To Be More Involved In Communities


The No.1 Art Award, a collaborative endeavor between the esteemed Sir Alexander McCall Smith and Space Botswana, has honored three remarkable artists from Botswana who have made an indelible mark in their communities.

In a groundbreaking event this past Monday, Space Botswana illuminated the artistic landscape with its inaugural award ceremony, celebrating the transformative power of art in society.

Speaking about the award’s significance, Atang Arnold the visionary founder and managing director of Space Botswana, emphasised its focus on recognising artists whose work has positively impacted society. Whether through charitable endeavors or social initiatives, these artists have demonstrated a commitment to enhancing the fabric of their communities.

The ceremony itself was a testament to the vibrancy of Botswana’s artistic scene. Boifhang Samaje, who hails has from Kajaja in the Okavango claimed the coveted first prize, while Odigile Setshwantso, affectionately known as ‘Sick O’ from Maun, secured second place. The trio was completed by Boitshepo Maramele, whose exceptional contributions earned her a special award.

The influence of Sir Alexander McCall Smith, renowned for his literary masterpiece, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series set in Botswana, added a touch of prestige to the event. His admiration for the artwork showcased at Space Botswana underscored the depth of talent within the country.

Founded by the trailblazing Atang Arnold in November 2019, Space Botswana stands as a beacon of creativity in Maun, nestled within the heart of the Okavango Delta. Crafted from a repurposed 6-meter shipping container, this innovative art gallery offers a unique platform for artists to showcase their creations amidst nature’s splendor.

Looking ahead, Arnold envisions the No.1 Art Award as a symbol of ongoing collaboration and inspiration. With plans to expand the Awards through additional sponsorships, the award aims to motivate artists to deepen their engagement with their communities, fostering a culture of creativity and compassion.

As the inaugural No.1 Art Award ceremony draws to a close, it leaves in its wake a renewed sense of purpose and possibility.

“Through art, we are reminded of our collective capacity to effect change and uplift those around us. Together, let us continue to celebrate and support the transformative power of creativity.”


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