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Mrs + Mr Luke making their mark

The theme of this year's 23rd annual Basa Awards is indelible, accompanied by the hashtag, #MakeYourMark. "It is both a celebration and a call to action," explains Basa head of marketing, Savannah Feeke-Fortune. "It's the reason we commissioned Mrs + Mr Luke to create seven installations at seven secret locations around Johannesburg. Without giving the game away, each artwork is unique and has been created to celebrate the winners and the specific category in which they have won."
“Basa has been forced to reimagine how the awards are produced, to reflect our present, unusual circumstances. At the same time, for us and our partner Hollard, the continued commitment to encouraging innovation is key in reflecting current efforts to discover new ways of producing, performing and promoting the arts. While this year’s Basa Awards moved to a digital platform, they still honour and recognise the diverse and imaginative relationships forged between business partners and creative projects, events and initiatives.”

Mrs and Mr Luke. Image credit: Theana Breugem
Mrs and Mr Luke. Image credit: Theana Breugem
The creative couple, Faatimah Mohamed-Luke and Al Luke, met while studying at Cape Technikon. "We were both studying design – different fields – but we would see each other in the design building cafeteria every day," says Mohamed-Luke. "Each morning, I would have a chocolate muffin and cappuccino for breakfast and Al would play pool close to my table and we became fast friends. After years of friendship he asked me out. I made it clear that it was pointless and that we wouldn't last a month. After 15 years of marriage, I think I can finally admit that I was wrong."

When asked to name the one thing he loves and admires the most about Mohamed-Luke, Luke replies that choosing only one thing is impossible and instead he lists a few of them. "As an artist and the best human I know, I really admire her determination and her willingness to push herself creatively, even in times of uncertainty. She’s fearless in the pursuit of creating beautiful visual work that, regardless of its conceptual nature, brings people joy and ignites imaginations."

Luke works in a variety of mediums and explains why he has chosen to use acrylic paint for the Basa Awards project: "This particular acrylic paint and its consistency allowed me a certain level of control, as well as allowing me to create a certain amount of texture with each line. I’m always inspired by people, situations, cultural movements and the energy of my surroundings. Painting and creating in Johannesburg is always inspiring and definitely injects a different energy into the work."

Mohamed-Luke believes that the role of the arts is to challenge societal norms or to highlight a particular plight. "Everything should be open to interrogation, and what we agree pushes society forward gets to stay and some things require new solutions. Within my art I enjoy challenging the views of materiality and what constitutes an artistic medium." She adds that her chosen medium allows for a playfulness and accessibility that traditional mediums often do not allow. She and Al feel excited and grateful to have had the opportunity to add some of their whimsy to the 2020 Basa Awards.

Log on to at your leisure from 7pm on 19 November 2020, and click on the ‘Awards’ tab in the navigation bar to experience the work of Mrs + Mr Luke, which features in the reveal of the winning partnerships of the 23rd annual Basa Awards, partnered by Hollard.

About the Basa Awards

The annual Basa Awards recognise business support of and partnerships with the arts. One of Basa’s flagship events, the awards platform assists in promoting mutually beneficial, equitable and sustainable business partnerships with the arts. The awards categories encompass all creative mediums and a wide spectrum of partnerships. In addition, special awards are made annually at the discretion of the Basa board of directors to celebrate remarkable contributions by individuals, organisations and businesses.

Basa is constituted in terms of the new Companies Act and is registered as a public benefit organisation. The board of directors comprises Charmaine Soobramoney (chairperson) Mandie van der Spuy (deputy chair), Ashraf Johaardien (CEO), Kojo Baffoe (Basa Awards chairperson), Kathy Berman, Devi Sankaree Govender, Hilton Lawler, Khanyi Mamba, Unathi Malunga, Makgati Molebatsi, Zingisa Motloba, Dr Yacoob Omar and Mirna Wessels.

For more information or to become a Basa member please visit

17 Nov 2020 14:06