News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday January 23rd 2018

Sculpting scrap into cash

Zimbabwean Godfrey Choto, 37, makes a living selling the sculptures of wild animals he makes from scrap metal. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

At first glance it seems as if a giant wild animal has escaped from the game reserve and is wandering around in the township.

But a closer look shows that the animal has been made of metal and iron scavenged from dumpsites and scrap yards.

And the artists are making thousands of rands a month selling their amazing metal animals.

A group of Zimbabwean refugees in Du Noon are creating Buffaloes, Elephants Zebras and a variety of birds which they sell to amazed clients.

One of the handuful of Sculptors, Godfrey Choto, 37, a husband and father, said making animals from scrap metal was a hobby back in Zimbabwe, but now it’s a business that supports him and his family.

“I enjoy the job because I can craft animals out of my imagination,” said Choto.

He said a baby buffalo sold for R500 while a fully grown buffalo fetched R1 500.

He said the most popular of his creations were the Buffaloes, Giraffes and Springboks.

Choto said he was also happy to teach other people how to weld and panelbeat the animals together.

“All South Africans are welcome to come to learn for free of charge. We are not stingy with skills,” he said.

He said they sold most of their merchandise was sold to hotels and they had a market near the Caltex refinery plant but police sometimes chased them away from there and confiscated their goods, saying they had no permit to sell on the side of the road.

“It’s not easy,” he said, but added “I want to do this all my life.”

Local residents in Du Noon say they enjoy the metal animals.

Onica Mqhitsana, said the sculptures were “great”.

“They show the beauty of nature. They show us examples of wild animals we never get a chance to see,” said Mqhitsana.

Nomvuyo Blouw agrees. She said the work was great as it taught them what type of wild animals were there in the wilderness. — Peter Luhanga, West Cape News

Tags: DuNoon, zimbabwe

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