Recycling: Waste turned into wonder

One of the projects that form part of the Indawo Abantu Injongo e Khayelitsha initiative has been completed. The concrete benches that were constructed using recycled building rubble were beautifully decorated through mosaic artwork. Recycling has always been at the heart of mosaicing, which is another form of recycling, and is a prominent theme in the Indawo Abantu Injongo e Khayelitsha initiative.

The benches were brought to life by one of our collaborators, Reagan Rubain, who is a professional mosaic artist based in Ocean View. The design elements for the benches were carefully planned through discussions with Reagan, Busiswa, and the rest of her team. The idea was to include nature-related elements and traditional patterns. This, therefore, ensured that the designs would increase environmental awareness and were relevant to the community.

The mosaic art was designed using tiles that were generously donated by Creative Space Clovelly and React Group. During this process, Reagan invited The Umvoto Foundation (TUF) and Creative Space Clovelly to his workshop in Ocean View to show us his progress. He also demonstrated his incredible mosaicing skills and methods. Once the benches were completed, they were transported to Khayelitsha where they were received by the community. Many passers-by stopped to admire the benches and appreciate the artwork on display.

Various mosaiced benches for recycling projects
Benches that were designed by Reagan Rubain

With the benches in place, Busiswa and her group will continue to do their gardening by planting flowers in the street to beautify the space around the benches. The uniquely designed benches, mural and flowers, help achieve the goal stated by Busiswa in her first interview with TUF. She aspires to create a beautiful natural space where residents will have more respect for their local environment and ultimately reduce littering. The response towards the projects by the residents in the area and the adjacent primary school have all been positive. This provides an indication that they appreciate the beautifying efforts and clean ups done by Busiswa and her team.