A moving to tribute to South Africa by Athi- Patra Ruga

Draped in a floor length champagne colour gown vogue-ing for New York’s high art elite, Athi-Patra Ruga’s piece embraced the many sides of South Africa’s utopia.

“Over the rainbow” derived from the idea of a rainbow nation is the title of Ruga’s performance art piece. Giving birth to his newest alter ego Versatile Queen Ivy, Ruga combined mixed media as well as perfomance in dance and spoken word recitations of pieces like “Madonna of The Townships”, dedicated to the late Brenda Fassie. The significance of the performance was that it showed how the idea of utopia only exists as a lack. “The rainbow itself is splitting, if there could be such a phenomenon” , said Ruga in an interview with the New York Times.


Perfomas gala dinner event brought some of the best contemporary artists together for an evening of glitz, glam but more importantly conversation. Honouring Nigerian curator and writer Okwui Enwazor, the evening brought together performance in celebration of the honoree’s caree; a commitment to highlighting art in Africa and the diaspora.

In the spirit of collaboration Ruga asked the rapper and producer Dope Saint Jude and the musician and activist Angel-H0 both South African, to take part in the performance.


Ruga’s performance is important in shifting the discourses we create around art and communication. As artists we have the power to communicate the truth and it some cases, the stories we take from our homes(in Africa) are not idealistic ones.

  • image courtesy; http://mg.co.za/


Creative Visual Expressionist.