Mappa Mavis

Date: 2015
  1. Mappa Mavis

This large reverse glass painting and mixed media work was made for the group exhibition EMPIRE, curated by Emma Van Der Merwe at the Everard Read Cape Town Gallery in 2015. As the head of this social media empire I looked at, Mavis: “Each day I get more than 300 “friend-mails” in my inbox. Interesting fact: My posts get read by close to 14 000 people in just 2 hours after its posting, in a Cape Flats dialect of Afrikaans; over more than 60 countries, reaching a total of 200 000 reads a day” First of all, thank you for granting me the opportunity of meeting you in person. You look gorgeous! And quite unique. During the last couple of years, you shared with us some unbelievable stories of people living on the Cape Flats and all across South Africa. Tell us more about yourself. Thank you for your kind compliment! Yes, I grew up on the Cape Flats, mixed-raced coloured, Cape Flats Afrikaans, went to an ordinary school, and during the last 10 years I have had this profile. So, one day I just thought: Why not share our stories? In Afrikaans, I would tell people Ons het almal ons stories, en elkeen sy verhaal, so waarom vertel ons dit nie? And so I did. I want to remember my friends and happenings in my life. I must say it was quite a journey and cathartic. I was blocked, banned, blocked, banned. So now I am busy finding my Facebook feet. I have an incredible number of followers. From the USA to New Zealand, from Croatia to Hungary and Germany. Can you believe more than 60 countries and thousands of followers! I literally get lots of fanmail each week, and I personally read and respond to every single one of those. You speak several languages, as I gathered from your posts. Tell me about that. Well, yes I do – however I speak Afrikaans as a home language. Afrikaans is my heart. Its my mother and fathertongue! It’s the language I learned to love in. The Cape Flats version, of course. But I also speak English, German, Dutch and French. I had the luxury of travelling and learning new cultures and languages. So I am fortunate to have done that. Travelling has afforded me many opportunities; some I took, some I declined. Education and Humility gave me a certain sense of power. And I always try to weigh things up, before jumping into opportunities. Are you Introvert or Extrovert? I am Ambivert. I am a bit of both. In real life I don’t talk that much though. So I lean more towards the introvert side. Your Community Engagement projects are just amazing. How many projects do you run? For 2019, I will still be involved with A Reaching Hand, an NPO doing some incredible work on the Cape Flats. I am currently involved with literacy projects: one in Khayelitsha, one in Delft and one in Uitsig. My main goal is to make it as sustainable as possible. The things with dreams are that dreams live much longer than what dreamers do, and it is my dream that these children will have better lived-opportunities than what I had. I did not have a good life at all. With my Facebook fans, we had secured enough funds to pay the tuition fees for less fortunate learners for next year. Then I will also want to, if it is at any means possible work with the Tersia Jonck Initiative. It is for talented music students on the Cape Flats. It is to provide scope and opportunities to them, and to show them, that on my Page, we really do care about their creative dreams. And then I will still be working with various other projects in and around Cape Town. You are well put together: Any one you are seeing romantically? Well, I do get a lot of good offers as Mavis vannie Lavis [giggles], aside from the “Hi dear”-emails. But I am in a relationship. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know about the Mavis profile. And to secure my privacy, I also blocked him. He’s not a jealous person, and will give me my space, but when I am Mavis, I don’t have time for random kisses with someone I blocked [laughs]. In a nutshell, I am seeing someone. However, Mavis is different: Mavis can be a bit of a jintoe. She sees everyone online, especially if they earn hundreds and thousands of dollars. But I do keep a level head between myself and the Mavis-persona. Five random facts about you? Facts or truths? [giggles] Okay. I love coffee shops. I don’t like the beaches at all. Let me think: I support LGBTQI+ rights wholeheartedly and make no secret of that. Wait till 2019 for a big Mavis surprise! I am busy writing my first novel, due to be released soon, and I love, love, love people. My fans mean everything to me. Any last word? Last words sound so final. [laughs]. “Dream big”. I think a lot of people nowadays settle for mediocrity, because it is safe. I would say Dream Big. My Page will always be a supportive platform and a safe space to bounce off ideas


Mappa Mavis ( detail)


Mappa Mavis (in context)