About Mkhonto Gawzela’s Frieze at the Campanile

At the start of Route 67 is the Campanile Tower, a tall red brick edifice built in honour of the 1820 British Settlers. The origin of its name is Florentine, as is its architecture for Bell Tower, which is what it is - a 170 foot tower at the top of which is a bell that sounds three times a day, and a clock.

Did you know? The russet clay frieze is in keeping with Gwazela’s history. He and his friends taught themselves to make animals out of clay, even though the river banks were out of bounds for the children of his village.

The memorial is at the entrance of the railway station and the harbour right where, it is said, the settlers first set foot in the country. And it still stands head and shoulders above, just about, everything built subsequently in the area, reminiscent of St Mark’s Campanile in Venice, although that reaches a good 320 feet in the air.

Port Elizabeth recently introduced an urban renewal programme incorporating modern and colourful pieces of art to add ethnic, cultural and authentic influence to the city’s historical monuments.

The Campanile Frieze is one of these additions by the New Brighton-based artist Mpumzeni Ezra ‘Mkhonto’ Gwazela, who combined Indian, Xhosa and Western influences, featuring a sweep of South African actors, writers, artists and musicians in a string of cameos along the length of the wall.

The characters and personalities include Athol Fugard, George Pemba, John Kani, and the artist himself. Taking a couple of months to research the design, he enlisted the help of his Master’s supervisor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU).

After studying in East London and NMMU he collaborated on a frieze for PE’s Red Location and on the back of this work was approached to do the frieze at the base of the Campanile. Despite his acclaim - his work has sold to France, Thailand and other African countries - his desire is to open an art school with his wife, who is a printmaker, to teach others.

Need to Know

WhereMkhonto Gawzela’s Frieze at the Campanile, Strand Street, Central, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Port Elizabeth Accommodation, Eastern Cape

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Port Elizabeth

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Mkhonto Gawzela’s Frieze at the Campanile

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Eastern Cape Accommodation / Sunshine Coast Accommodation / Port Elizabeth Accommodation

Port Elizabeth as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Number of Guests

  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
  • Port Elizabeth

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.