Winners: PPC Imaginarium Awards 2019

ppc imaginarium awards
Overall Winner and Sculpture Winner: Sonwabiso Ngcai

WORDS Michaela Stehr

The winners of the 2019 PPC Imaginarium Awards have been announced, with Eastern Cape artist Sonwabiso Ngcai winning the overall award.

Sonwabiso’s win was announced at UJ Gallery on 11 April 2019, where he received a R150 000 cash prize for his sculpture entitled Isigu, or The Snare.

Prizes are awarded across six different categories – Sculpture, Industrial Design, Film, Fashion, Jewellery and Architecture – with a brief to create a work within one of the categories using PPC cement as a material.

Sonwabiso won both the overall award, as well as the Sculpture category prize.

On the sculpture, he explains: “An isigu, in traditional African society, is a contraption used by young boys to hunt birds. It consists of a downward-facing bowl, with one side held open by an upright stick that has a string tied to it, with a few pieces of grain scattered underneath the bowl. Lured by the promise of food, a bird enters the area – the string is tugged, and the bird is captured. In this piece, the use of this simple but effective hunting tool is an analogy for the entrapment of people by religious cults.”

“In South Africa, recent exploitation has included feeding vulnerable congregants snakes and grass, making them drink petrol, sexual abuse, bullying and victimisation – all in the name of faith,” he continues. “Baited by the expectation of salvation and often seduced by promises of wealth, people are increasingly falling into religious cults. The use of concrete refers to the perceived power of faith and how congregants find strength in the Bible. The construction of the trap alludes to temporary church pop-up structures such as tents or rented buildings that appear in strategic places.”

Here is the full list of winners:


  • Winner: Sonwabiso Ngcai
  • Runner-up: Kenneth Shandu

Sculpture Runner-up: Kenneth Shandu

  • Special Commendation: Prudence Magagula

Sculpture Special Commendation: Prudence Magagula


  • Winner: Jomar Dreyer

Industrial Design Winner: Jomar Dreyer

  • Runner-up: Jon-Peer Bouwer

Industrial Design Runner-up: Jon-Peer Bouwer


  • Winner: Cow Mash

Fashion Winner: Cow Mash

  • Runner-up: Cheryl Traub Adler
  • Special Commendation: Itumeleng Ramakau

Fashion Special Commendation: Itumeleng Ramakau


  • Winner: Wian Jordaan

Architecture Winner: Wian Jordaan

  • Runner-up: Suzani van der Merwe

Architecture Runner-up: Suzani van der Merwe


  • Winner: Khanya Mthethwa

Jewellery Winner: Khanya Mthethwa

  • Runner-up: Joani Groenewald


There was no winner or runner-up in the Film category, but Nirma Madhoo received a special commendation.

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