Global Peace Village or a Scrap Yard?

Community members accuse him of being involved with witchcraft, the local government forbids him to showcase his work …the Zimbabwean artist, Dexter Nyamainashe has been collecting scrap to create art for six years now. Dexter collects all his created art objects together in his one masterpiece: The “global village of peace”.

This inspiring artist-activist goes against all odds to follow his passion. Dexter sees beauty in what most of us would just call ordinary ‘scrap’. Dexter, an inspiring man we can all learn something from…

Please find the original story and more information about Dexter and his work here on the Tashanda blog

BANG the drum to go to school

Aviwe (10 years) and Fuzile (8years) started their own band! They call them selves “Thandabantu”….this Xhosa word means: “the one who loves people”. Their father died in a car accident a few years ago. Their mother, Cordelia, is injured from the accident and unable to walk properly. She can’t really work. She didn’t finish school. She tries to sell as many home baked cookies as possible to her community in township Khayelitsha to make an income for herself and her 2 sons.

Thandabantu: the one who loves people

Cordelia and her kids constructed their own instrument! It takes: 2 buckets, 4 sticks, a piece of leather, some wire and lots of bottle tops!

The boys started making some noise on the streets of Cape Town, got some money and soon were able to buy a real instrument! The keyboard (600 Rand), together with the drums and the boys’ voices are the current ingredients for the Thandabantu-band.

They now play their music to collect money to go to school. During this summer holiday they made 100-200 Rand a day. School is free, but lunch (3rand/child) and travel (5 rand/child) has to be paid every day.

I sincerely hope not to see those boys the coming weeks in town. This would mean they have been able to save enough money to attend school every day this year. During the weekends and in School Holidays you can come and listen to Aviwe and Fuzile at the corner of St. Georges Mall and Strand Street in the Cape Town City Center.

Their repertoire consists of some imaginative songs. They can’t read a note… hmmm…who knows there is some musician reading this? I bet ya the boys would love to know more about music. They seem to enjoy it a lot.

(note: my apologies for the video quality, but it was taken with my phone…)

every day they play those few invented songs...
mum can't work (accident), father died


Recycled art at Kitengela
Recycled art at Kitengela

Anyone who has been to Kitengela Glass near Nairobi will instantly recognize the works of art made from recycled glass, metal and other materials. Stunning works by local artists support a huge community of people and beautify gardens, offices, institutions and homes. I bet you aren’t expecting me to talk about crap right? Wrong!

Kigengela art glass
Kigengela art glass

Creating art from recycled glass takes a huge amount of energy. The glass recycling factory produces tiles, windows and other items, fueling it with used oil, butane gas and electricity. But now they are exploring the use of human gas, yes that’s right – it sounds disgusting, smells disgusting, but what a wonderful source of energy!

Pig for poo
Pig for poo

Apart from the excrement from pigs, chickens, horses, donkeys, ostriches, ducks, and geese

human wastes are collected … in these loos designed to keep you intrigued…

Loo seat
Loo seat

and seated for long enough to be ‘productive’.

poo bus
poo bus

The wastes (no, not the human ones) are transported to the biogas production site in a specially designedloooong-armed wheelbarrow

Shit stirrer
Shit stirrer

where it is poured into this big pot, where it is stirred (not shaken) by a professional shit stirrer.


Then it flows to the fermentation pit to digest….

Fermentation  system
Fermentation system

Notice how the toilets are being constructed at the top end of the system. This allows the poo to flow directly into the first tank .. it flows by gravity to the fermentation tank and then a settling tank before the sludge flows out and down a drain into another holding tank out of the picture.

The gas is piped to the household kitchen and the glass art workshops,

while the waste sludge is extracted and used on the gardens, i.e. total recycling!

In addition the Kitengela Glass factory creates an odd assortment of jobs from artists to poop stirrers, farmers and  biogas producers… for more information read about Kitengela here.

Amazing isn’t it – The first example of Art from Fart

Village Toys (Uganda)

Happy New Years everyone!

(The following series of images were sent in by Teddy (aka TMS Ruge) a professional photographer and an all around amazing individual who runs Project Diaspora.)

Ugandan village toys by TMS Ruge

The SUV was made from an old Cooking Oil container, I can’t remember the brand. The “top” is cut-out and they put other little belongs in there pulled it for hours. The wheels are made from old slippers, or sandles. Spokes from an old bicycle served as the axles. Banana stalk was used to pull the “vehicle”.

Ugandan village toy by TMS Ruge

Ugandan village SUV toy and children by TMS Ruge

“That’s my niece, Chris and her friend, Geofrey are in the picture. They spent hours in their own world pulling it across the yard.”

More pictures at the AfriGadget Flickr Image Pool and the AfriGadget Facebook Group. (join it, add yours).