Upon graduating in Office Administration at Ekurhuleni West College in 2015, Mveliso Ntaba struggled to find a job, which pushed him to sell boiled eggs in order to survive. Today, he is a respected artist who is turning recycled household refuse into beautiful works of art.
“One day when I was selling the eggs, I was bored so I started playing with the plastic packing that the eggs come in. I started cutting and shaping it and made my first miniature house out of it. I realised then that I loved making it and that I love art,” said Ntaba.
The talented artist from Ivory Park, in Midrand, turned his passion for art into a career. He makes miniature houses, cities and townships; picture frames; jewellery; accessories; caps and anything else that his clients ask him to make, all purely from recycled materials that he finds at the dumping site near Halfway House in Midrand. The materials include cardboard, glass, plastic, bottle tops, sand and stone.
“Clients even ask me to make miniature replicas of their own house. It takes about three weeks to make one eight-room miniature house. I’m also inspired by watching other people make amazing things. This makes me do even more of the artwork I do,” explained Ntaba.
As for the future, Ntaba would love to study further, especially art, design and architecture. “I would love to learn how to turn my art into a professional business and I really want to open my own art gallery one day,” he said.
His message to unemployed youth is to be creative, in any way. “You need to find yourself and the things you enjoy. Stick with them, try to improve and make new things,” he says.