Journal, South Africa

Mbongeni Buthelezi + Beating The Odds


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The tale of a South African artist, Mbongeni Buthelezi, really moved me recently. Coming from South Africa which has so little, to America which has so much, I must say I find these stories very inspirational. It’s about the human spirit refusing to give up on what it knows it deserves.

Because he was poor but loved to paint, he had to come up with some way to create the ‘paint’ he couldn’t afford. He started collecting old plastic and applying heat to it on canvas, discovering soon he was creating a striking new medium that could help him make art. Quite frankly, he personifies the term ‘making something out of nothing’ by using plastic to paint. And the most admirable part is that it’s eco-friendly, asking his audience to look at waste in a new way. The videos above + below are wonderful, watch them.

I wrote about a similar inspiration story a while back, a man from the townships of South Africa who processes film with coffee. Read it here.

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