Arts, Culture & Heritage

Tree of Hope, Noordgesig Murals

Last Updated: September 27, 2023
Artist

Various artists coordinated by Trinity Session

A Brief History

“Mama Glover is an icon in Noorgesig and has inspired many people across Soweto. Having dedicated 62 years to feeding and alleviating poverty in her community. She started many vegetable gardens that fed and gave people food parcels. She was mostly known for her green bible and her saying “Nomakanjani sizom’themba uJesu”

Mama Glover was best known for opening her home in 1962 to start one of the first feeding schemes in Soweto during apartheid. This feeding scheme is still in operation and feeds around 300 people per day from Noordgesig and the surrounding areas such as Orlando, Diepkloof, Pimville, Nancefield, Freedom Park, and Lenasia. In addition to being a compassionate caregiver, Sister Glover was also a skilled farmer and gardener. She ran her feeding scheme using vegetables she grew herself in her garden and bought the rest of the ingredients using her own pension money when sponsorships and donations often dried up.

Two of the Mama Glover murals are situated along Major Street, where she used to live, grow and tend to her vegetable garden. This was also where her soup kitchen was situated. The largest Mama Glover mural is situated on Colin Drive against the façade of the Baptist church.

This mural is intended to represent a ‘’heaven’’ or ‘’dreamlike’’ environment – where the artist Lavinia Williams-Otto has included symbolic forms and text that describe the legacy of Mama Glover – although these are presented in symbolic iconography there are a multitude of meanings embedded in these. The tree is intended to be like a ‘’family tree’’ of all the networks and contributions Mama Glover was involved in.”

Extracts from report by The Trinity Session (2019)

This artwork formed part of a series of artworks implemented by the Johannesburg Development Agency during an area upgrade which included public spaces and public facilities.

Description

“The vegetable patch mural series reveals the sacrifice and love Mama Glover gave to her community. The different vegetables represent the commitment she had to the soup kitchen. She even started vegetable gardens to sustain the soup kitchen for the people in the community.”

“The mural of Mama Glover watering her vegetable garden has lots of different symbols in it. The cabbage represents her soup kitchen; she grew cabbage to feed her community. There are also some roses and a vegetable patch. It expresses her love for her people and her community. The mural brings out the history that was forgotten. Now children will know who Mama Glover was, and follow in her footsteps.”

Extracts from report by The Trinity Session (2019)

Artwork Signage

“Mama Glover is an icon in Noorgesig and has inspired many people across Soweto. Having dedicated 62 years to feeding and alleviating poverty in her community. She started many vegetable gardens that fed and gave people food parcels. She was mostly known for her green bible and her saying “Nomakanjani sizom’themba uJesu”

Mama Glover was best known for opening her home in 1962 to start one of the first feeding schemes in Soweto during apartheid. This feeding scheme is still in operation and feeds around 300 people per day from Noordgesig and the surrounding areas such as Orlando, Diepkloof, Pimville, Nancefield, Freedom Park, and Lenasia. In addition to being a compassionate caregiver, Sister Glover was also a skilled farmer and gardener. She ran her feeding scheme using vegetables she grew herself in her garden and bought the rest of the ingredients using her own pension money when sponsorships and donations often dried up.

Two of the Mama Glover murals are situated along Major Street, where she used to live, grow and tend to her vegetable garden. This was also where her soup kitchen was situated. The largest Mama Glover mural is situated on Colin Drive against the façade of the Baptist church.

This mural is intended to represent a ‘’heaven’’ or ‘’dreamlike’’ environment – where the artist Lavinia Williams-Otto has included symbolic forms and text that describe the legacy of Mama Glover – although these are presented in symbolic iconography there are a multitude of meanings embedded in these. The tree is intended to be like a ‘’family tree’’ of all the networks and contributions Mama Glover was involved in.”

Extracts from report by The Trinity Session (2019)

This artwork formed part of a series of artworks implemented by the Johannesburg Development Agency during an area upgrade which included public spaces and public facilities.

Location & Address

520 Central Rd, Noordgesig, Soweto