The church was built in 1975 and painted by Francine Ndimande with help from her husband. It took them about a year to paint all the murals! Francine had grown up in Middleburg, a part of the Ndebele homelands that had been settled by German missionaries at Fort Merensky. The Roman Catholic mission was called Botshabelo, "place of refuge." It was because of Francine that this new church was built near her new home in Emthambothini.
(Interestingly, there is another great South African artist who came out of the mission at Fort Merensky. Gerard Sekoto. Gerard, the son of mission-trained teacher Jan Sekoto, was born at Botshabelo in 1913. Gerard would later emigrate to Europe, obtain French citizenship and achieve considerable international renown as an artist.)
Over time, the natural paints and pigments that Francine had used in 1975 weathered and faded. In 1995, the church was completely renovated and Francine led the team restoration of the paintings. This time she had the help of over 40 women in the community and it only took them about four months to complete the painting!
|That's Serge at the entrance|
|The Roman Catholic Church|
|inside the church with a holy water well|
|the Cup and Chalice|
|flame and lights representing Jesus, the Light of the World|
|the tabernacle in the sacristy|
|the front piece of the main altar|
|on the altar there were seats for the priest and altar servers and a lectern|
|the altar cross with last year's palms|
|instead of stained glass, there were colorful window frames|