The next stroke at the future

2018-09-18 06:00
Mark Jeneker with a self portrait and some of his art.PHOTO: Samantha lee

Mark Jeneker with a self portrait and some of his art.PHOTO: Samantha lee

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Knowing the power art had in the transformation of his own life, he is on a mission to help others through the opening of his own art studio.

Mark Jeneker, a former drug and gang boss who turned his life around six years ago, will officially launch his art studio as part of the Mark Jeneker Foundation, launched earlier this year (“Art works”, People’s Post, 20 March).

A local art teacher, Jeneker has put his past behind him and uses his skill and love for children and the arts to help inspire and motivate children stay off the streets and in the classrooms (“The art of giving”, People’s Post, 17 October).

Jeneker started off only teaching at Yellowwood Primary School and after telling his story, has been approached to start teaching at Westville Primary School as well. Now he will offer his skills and expertise to the greater public following the official launch this weekend.

“I wanted to do this a long time ago but I was waiting for the right time and place. I wanted to open an art studio in Mitchell’s Plain because there are so many artists and all their art work is so good and attractive but it dies,” he says.

“When someone who is good at art drops out or finishes school, they can continue with their art. But no one is taking notice of the artists in Mitchell’s Plain. I am opening this for them.”

Classes will start on the Tuesday 25 September at the Alliance Française building in Portlands. Classes will be from 16:00 to 18:00 for children and 18:30 to 21:00 for adults. Safety and parking has also been addressed­.

“The classes will be open to everyone with all skill levels, but the space I have is limited so people must make an appointment if they want to join classes,” says Jeneker.

He was further inspired by a conversation with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at the recent opening of a local art museum­.

“He said the art in South Africa is attracting foreigners and is one of the best means to accumulate and bring money into the country. Foreigners are buying art and leaving their dollars and pounds here,” he says.

“I want to also host exhibitions where students can put their art on display. The art can be sold as a means for income for the artists. There are so many unemployed people out there who can do art and now their art is at home gathering dust. That is how they lose interest in art. This is a method of getting a salary for artists.”

The classes will cover all the basics and are open to all skills levels.

The classes will include pencil sketches, paint, pastels and charcoal sketching. There will also be a variety of art forms such as still life painting.

“The space is not that big but I am grabbing the space to make a start with this. I want to uplift other artists and teach those who want to learn more about art,” he says.

“I have come across so many artists since I started teaching and I want to get my art and everyone’s art seen outside. For people to see what comes from Mitchell’s Plain.”

He has come a long way in the few years and has put his past behind him, while still acknowledging his transformation.

“I never knew I would get this far, but I am doing this and showing others they can too,” he says.

Costs will be kept to a minimum and only cover the necessary materials needed.

V To register or for more information, call Jeneker on 078 637 8853 or email


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