African Bonsai Association

In the mid 1980’s John Naka from the USA approached Derry Ralph to form the African Region under the World Bonsai Friendship Federation (WBFF). The WBFF's goal is to promote and actively exchange, Bonsai creativity, technology and information and the promoting of international friendship and goodwill.

In April 1987 the first steering committee from various countries around the world, convened in Osaka Japan to consider the establishment of a “World Bonsai Friendship Federation”.

On 6 April, 1989, the inaugural meeting of the WBFF was held in Omiya Japan. 32 Countries participated. A draft Constitution was presented under an umbrella organisation known as African Bonsai Association and was accepted and Africa included as a WBFF founding member. Back home, the Draft Constitution Membership did not suit the organisational structure of Africa.

On July 4 1990, the WBFF AGM met in Honolulu, Hawaii, to discuss the WBFF’s organisational Structure by encouraging Latin America and Africa to organise bonsai federations.

In 1991 the African Bonsai Association Constitution was redrafted to include only clubs. This was done because there were no other known countries in Africa doing bonsai, except for Zimbabwe.

In 1992 Pieter Visagie became the first President of ABA. South African Bonsai Association (SABA) and ABA functioned as the same administrative body.
An ABA convention was held in Durban by Durban Bonsai Society
It was decided that every year a national Convention under the auspices of ABA/SABA was to be held, alternating between the coastal towns and the inland towns. Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was also an active member.

IN 1993 Pieter Visagie attended the 2nd World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM and the World Bonsai Convention in Orlando USA.
The annual convention was held in Johannesburg hosted by Eastern Bonsai Society.

In 1994 the convention was held in Pretoria hosted by Pretoria Bonsai Kai.

In 1995 Pieter Visagie attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM in Sydney Australia.
An ABA Convention was run in November 1995 in Lady Brand.
Pieter Visagie then stepped down, due to ill health.

In 1996 Tommy Flaxman took over as 2nd President of ABA.
Pieter Visagie passed away on 17th January 1996.
Bloemfontein held the next Convention in 1996.

In 1997 the annual convention was held in Cape Town.
During 1997, Tommy Flaxman attended the Bonsai Clubs International (BCI) Convention in Canada and secured the rights to hold an ABA / BCI convention in 2002.

The 1998 the annual convention was held by the Border Bonsai Society in East London.
Eastern Bonsai Society hosted the 1999 convention. Tommy Flaxman remained president of ABA till he and his wife died in a tragic car accident in November 2000.

Bloemfontein hosted the convention in 2000.

In 2001 a group of South Africans travelled to the 4th World Bonsai Convention in Munich, Germany. Duncan Wiles, represented ABA. ABA was advised to split its administrative function from SABA and become more representative of Africa.
In 2002 ABA split from SABA, where the focus of SABA was only on bonsai in South Africa, and ABA was to make inroads into the rest of the African continent.

In 2002 BCI withdrew its hosting from South Africa and the 1st African Bonsai Convention 1 (ABC1) was held in Pretoria.

It was decided that an ABA Convention would be held every 4 years in line with the mother organisation of World Bonsai Friendship Federation. As SABA was the only Constitutionalised Organisation in Africa, SABA became the one and only member of ABA.

In Bloemfontein, 2004, Duncan Wiles became president of ABA.

In 2005 Charles Ceronio attended the 5th World Bonsai Convention in Washington DC, demonstrating “New” African Styles.

In 2006 Duncan Wiles attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM in China. Jonathan Cain accompanied as a consultant.

In 2006 The 2nd African Bonsai Convention (ABC2) was held at the VNA Waterfront in Cape Town.

In 2007 Duncan Wiles attended World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM in Japan, with Lynne Theodorou and Louis Nel as consultants.

In 2009 Louis Nel attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM and 6th World Bonsai Convention, as the ABA consultant, in San Juan Puerto Rico. Representatives of over 35 countries attended this Convention.

2010 Louis Nel attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM as ABA consultant in Italy.

In September 2011, the 3rd ABC was held in Durban. Main Head Liners were Bill Vilavanis from the USA and Robert Stevens from Indonesia.

In 2012 Jonathan Cain attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM in Taiwan as ABA consultant.

2013 Jonathan Cain became the next president of ABA.

2013 Jonathan attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM in China and 7th World Bonsai Convention.

In August 2014 Jonathan attended the World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM in Brisbane Australia. He secured the next World Bonsai Friendship Federation AGM to be held at ABC4 in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, 2015. This would be the first official visit by the WBFF since its inception in 1989.

September 2014 ABA was invited to hold a bonsai exhibition at 21st World Orchid Show at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

Zambia and Mauritius were appointed as consultants to ABA and World Bonsai Friendship Federation.

In Oct 2014 Jonathan Cain attended the Bonsai Euro Top 30, in Mulhouse France, representing ABA from the continent of Africa to build a World Forest of Peace.

In 2015 Madagascar, Reunion and Egypt were appointed as consultants to ABA for their regions.

2015 ABC4 is held in Stellenbosch Western Cape hosting the WBFF AGM. Headliners Francois Jeker - France, Ryan Niel - USA, Tony Tickle - UK and as a special demonstration, Hiroshi Takeyama - Japan.

2016 Keyna was appointed as a Consultant to ABA
2017 Israel and Tunisia were appointed as Consultants to ABA.
In 2017 34 South Africans went to the 8th World Convention is Saitama City Japan.
In 2018 Algeria and Namibia were appointed as Consultants.
The late Rudi Adams

Origin of African Bonsai Association (ABA)

African Bonsai Association - About Us

2018 Jonathan Cain attended WBFF Board Meeting in Rochester USA
2019The 5th African Bonsai Convention was held in Pretoria. Headliners Bob Mahler USA, Mauro Stemberger Italy, Rafael Torres Spain
In 2020 Ghana was appointed as Consultants

Our mission to promote and diffuse throughout Africa, a living art that can be appreciated by all peoples actively exchange knowledge, technology information, etc., related to the art of bonsai among countries of Africa, thus advancing international friendship and goodwill.

Member of the World Bonsai Friendship Federation(WBFF)

African Bonsai Association
South African Bonsai Association
World Bonsai Friendship Federation

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