ISPS Handa Art of Polo Invitational – Japanese philanthropist and the Make A Difference Leadership Foundation promoting leadership development through art

Inspired by Japanese philanthropist Dr Handa’s three loves – art, music and polo, the ISPS Handa Art of Polo Invitational will be the first of its kind in Africa. This black-tie sunset polo event will be held at SA’s premier polo venue, Val De Vie, on Saturday 22nd April. Bringing together leaders in business, sports and the arts, the inaugural ISPS Handa Art of Polo Invitational will be a networking celebration.

MAD (Make A Difference) Leadership Foundation’s art initiative completes the art component of this prestigious event. Founded by South African rugby legend Francois Pienaar, local artists donate their works for auction, raising awareness and funds to invest in the Foundation’s comprehensive scholarship programme focusing on leadership development through education for select scholars. Five sensational pieces will be available on live auction at the event with an additional fifteen pieces on silent auction, hosted on a mobile bidding site.


This collaboration could not have been between two more like-minded entities. Dr Handa, a business leader, artist and accomplished tenor – is passionate about philanthropy and supporting the arts in all forms. MAD Leadership Foundation’s focus is developing future leaders for South Africa through their bespoke scholarship program. One of MAD Leadership Foundation’s many successful initiatives is the auctioning of predominantly South African art and showcasing these artists globally.

Renowned sculptor Janko de Beer, who has gained global acclaim for his powerful works that recognize the potential found in natural materials, has donated his stunning sculpture titled “Mischief” as part of the live auction for the ISPS Handa Art of Polo Invitational. This breathtaking piece is part of his “Equus” series, based on the mythical relationship between humans and horses, which ties in perfectly with the ancient “Sport of Kings”.

Live Lot 4 Janko de Beer

Live auction pieces have also been donated by well-known sculptors and artists; Lionel Smit, John Vusi Mfupi, Mbongeni Buthelezi and Adriaan Diedericks. Proceeds of both the Live and Silent auctions go to funding the scholarships provided by the MAD Leadership Foundation. These scholarships give the talented young scholars the comprehensive financial, educational and psychological support required to succeed academically and develop as future leaders of South Africa.

Founding Chairman Francois Pienaar believes that events of this nature provide a powerful arena to explore networking and opportunities: “We are excited to present the art auction at the ISPS Handa Art of Polo Invitational. This inaugural event stands for many of the elements we as a Foundation promote – connecting philanthropy-focused leaders in business, sports and the arts with a means to invest in the potential of South Africa, showcasing talented artists and making a difference.”

More about the event

VDELUXE, the organisers of the event, is a 7-year polo Joint Venture and partnership between VIVIDLUXURY and VAL DE VIE EVENTS, spearheaded by Anina Malherbe-Lan and Simone de Wet. Together, the dynamic duo and their team of experts conceptualized and executed more than 18 world renowned polo events over the last 7 years, including the Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo Cape Town, the Cintron Pink Polo (both in their 7th year), the Sentebale Polo Cup for HRH Prince Harry, and many more. With more than 35 combined years of experience in international luxury and polo event ventures, the ISPS Handa Art of Polo Invitational will no doubt be another resounding success for VDELUXE.




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