International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March annually. Last year Google celebrated the day with a Doodle honouring the female pioneers who’ve gotten us where we are today. This year, it is celebrating International Women’s Day by examining 12 important themes through the work of 12 extraordinary women artists, including South African Karabo Poppy Moletsane. The themes – Adventure, Audacity, Chance, Connection, Growth, Heal, Home, Love, Possible, Strength, Together and Trust – are universal, and each Doodle tells a powerful story.
The theme for Moletsane’s Doodle is ‘Audacity’ and deals with the unexpected – Moletsane has introduced a woman into a traditional male ritual setting. Called ‘Ntsoaki’s Victory’, the gif tells the story of Ntsoaki, who is destined to live counter-culturally and asks to join the male coming of age ritual of lion-wrestling.
A well-known Pretoria-based illustrator, graphic designer and street artist, Moletsane’s work can be seen locally at the Nike Football Training Centre in Soweto and the community basketball courts at Zoo Lake. She collaborated with Woolworths in its Valentine’s Day campaign in February, raiding the Sandton City Woolworths shop front where she created an artwork showing roses in ways you wouldn’t expect to see them. She has also done work for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, featuring massively scaled up portraits of people she met on the streets of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Her career highlight, she says is a toss up between having Bill Gates tweet some of her illustrations and painting a mural that appeared in the Grammy-nominated music video Makeba by JAIN.