Father and son creating art on the side of the road
Bongumusa Maphumulo’s animals are a well-known sight on the M13 heading towards Queen Nandi Drive.
Lions, cheetahs, buck and zebra – just some of the animals lined up on the Queen Nandi Drive
But no, they have not escaped from a game park. These animals are the creation of father and son metal workers, Bongumusa and Isaac Maphumulo.
The Maphumulo’s use hammers, chisels and welding machine to shape sheets of tin into sculptures of some of Africa’s wild life.
Except for welding the pieces together, no other machines are used in the creative process. The father and son duo taught themselves how to work with metal, to cast it, forge, heat, treat and weld it to sculp with tin sheets.
Bongumusa learnt the art from his father when he was young. Now they work together to create tin sculptures for a living.
“This is a wonderful way to spend time with my father as he is very old, but it is also tough because this is the only thing standing between us and advert poverty”
The Maphumulos are the personification of the most visible part of the informal economy in South Africa. Each day, he and an estimated millions of other informal artists peddle their goods on the streets of South Africa, trying to make out a living.
The Department of Arts and Culture together with Visuals Arts Network of South Africa have made arts and culture funding available for projects like the Maphumulo’s in the 2018/2019 financial year.
Maphumulo also teaches young kids the work he does as a hope that they stay away from the street and all the evils of the world.
“I started teaching kids last year, it is not a lot of them since it is still new and but I really hope I can be the inspiration they need and I hope that by me teaching them they can be away from crime” Maphumulo added
Funding needs to be provided to projects that will promote, develop and preserve arts and culture in KwaZulu-Natal, especially projects that build capacity within arts and promote South African heritage.
Picture: Sicelo Mndebele