People who Rose


The project, named ‘People Who Rose,’ seeks to honour the influential figures who have made a lasting impact on the streets of Bloemfontein. Our chosen theme, #PeopleWhoRose, pays tribute to those who have significantly contributed to the community. Aligned with the Vrystaat Arts Festival’s
Public Art Project (PAP) the ‘People Who Rose’ mural project, collaborates with artists to bring vibrant Live Art to public spaces.

The murals in the ‘People Who Rose’ project not only depict Bloemfontein’s history but also serve as lively testaments to the diverse talents and accomplishments of its local heroes. Through visually compelling storytelling, each mural unfolds as a colourful narrative that enhances

the visual appeal of the streets and inspires a sense of unity and shared identity among residents. By portraying these icons on city walls, the project nurtures a deeper connection between the past and present, encouraging the community to reflect on its roots and honour the individuals
who have moulded its character. This artistic initiative stands as a dynamic tribute, inviting residents and visitors to engage with the rich cultural heritage of Bloemfontein.

Gallery of Icons


This mural is inspired by Dr. Petrus “Whitehead” Molemela, the esteemed founder of Bloemfontein Celtic, who was a multifaceted individual – an intellectual, entrepreneur, political activist, and community leader. Dr Molemela, who passed away in 2017 at 83, played a pivotal role in advancing Bloemfontein Celtic, introducing skilled foreign players during a period marked by intense local club rivalries. He was described in various ways: a mentor, inspiration, father figure, Christian, a fighter and a hard worker. Some referred to him as Dr Molemela but references to him as “Ntate” captured the imagination and attention of everyone telling his or her story about the legend. His gallant contributions echo the community’s history, illustrating a profound impact extending well beyond the sports arena.

Wayde van Niekerk, born on 15 July 1992, is a South African track and field sprinter renowned for his prowess in the 200 and 400 metres. Van Niekerk relocated to Bloemfontein in 2005; he attended Grey College before studying marketing at the University of the Free State. He made his international debut at the 2010 World Junior Championships in Athletics, where he placed fourth in the 200m with a personal best time of 21.02 seconds. As the current world and Olympic record holder in the 400 metres, he achieved this feat during the Olympic finals. Additionally, van Niekerk holds the world’s best time in the 300 metres. His remarkable achievements in sprinting have solidified his status as a standout athlete on the global stage.



Inspired by Bram Fischer (1908–1975), this mural depicts a vectorized image of Bram Ficher with flowers incorporated, blending in with the theme. Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Bram Fischer was a distinguished lawyer and anti-apartheid activist. Prior to study at the University of Oxford (New College) as a Rhodes Scholar during the 1930s, he was schooled at Grey College and Grey University College in Bloemfontein, he was a resident of House Abraham Fischer, which is named after his grandfather, Abraham Fischer. Fischer was renowned for his pivotal role in the legal defense of Nelson Mandela and others during the Rivonia Trial (1963-1964), he faced persecution for his anti-apartheid stance. Fischer’s life reflects a commitment to justice, marked by personal sacrifices and exile, leaving a lasting legacy in the struggle for equality in South Africa.

These murals were inspired by Nadia Nerina (1927–2008) who was a highly acclaimed South African ballerina known for her exceptional talent and versatility in The Royal Ballet during the 1950s and 1960s.Born as Nadine Judd in Bloemfontein, she showcased technical virtuosity, lightness in her movements, and a joyful stage presence, particularly excelling in comedic roles. Nadia’s theatrical journey began at the age of 8/9 when she appeared in a local production of Madama Butterfly as Cio-Cio San’s child.




Lizka Fouché

Is as of 2023 a second- year Fine Arts student at the University of the Free State. She was born in Gqeberha and currently lives in Bloemfontein. She is interested in the digital realm and its influence on the natural world. She loves reading, cats, and taking long walks.


Nyembe Bekker

Currently residing in Botshabelo, is a mixed media artist with a background initiated at Reamohetse Secondary School. As a dedicated full-time sculpture and portrait artist, he engages in both commissioned projects and conceptual work.


Given Khoza

Is currently pursuing an education in Design and Studio Arts at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, majoring in Fine Arts. He enjoys painting, drawing and Stencil spray painting. Khoza values challenges and delights in expressing himself to the world through his Art.


Mpendulo (MJ) Simamane

Specialising in sculpture, ceramics and printmaking. His artworks often explore South Africa's complex history, African culture, social and economic issues while also commenting on environmental matters. In 2023 he was a finalist at SASOL New Signatures.



Shanie Burger

Is a committed Fine Arts student enrolled at the University of the Free State. She focusses on the intersection of various art forms and the narrative potential of visual storytelling. She delves into the nuances of this craft through colorful mediums such as painting.


Emma Fouche

Emma Fouché is as of 2023 a first-year medical student at the University of the Free State. When she is not studying, she finds relaxation in the world of art. Mural painting is her form of serving the community.


Kopano Pondo

Kopano Pondo is a dynamic and driven artist with qualifications in Facilitation, Assessment and Moderation, dedicated to fostering skills development in rural communities. He also has Management and Proficiency in Art experience.


Feel like getting creative yourself?

Unleash your inner artist by designing your own mural – a canvas for your creativity. Get in contact with us and bring your visuals to life.