Art for the rhinos!

July 10, 2023

Above: Rhinos on location – our Hout Bay learners got to spend their holiday program at the fantastic Snoekies venue

Our July holiday program was themed around wildlife conservation and specifically the plight of our endangered rhino, raising awareness among Lalela learners and inspiring some incredible artworks in the process.

Lalela has a longstanding association with rhinos – not only do we respect the right to a safe, free-to-roam existence for these beautiful creatures in the wild, we’ve also loved making our mark in rhino-related public art projects.

If you’ve been to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, you might have come across several strikingly painted or decorated rhino sculptures. This is the wonderful The Rhinos Are Coming concept, which was created to help raise funds for the cause of saving the rhinos. Leading artists like Beezy Bailey were invited to bring the sculptures to colourful life, and so were we!

The initiative was presented by the brilliant non-profit organization Rhino Disharmony, a global platform that draws attention to the rhino-poaching crisis in South Africa.

We were delighted to tie in our holiday program activities with Rhino Disharmony once again, as part of their commitment to educating communities within South Africa about rhinos and the poaching crisis. “This is what it’s all about! Educating the next generation and encouraging them to #spreadtheword – they are our future rhino custodians,” they shared of the link-up with Lalela on their Instagram account.

Above: We’re so proud of the exceptional artworks produced by learners in our Hout Bay programs!

Throughout our two-week long holiday programme, Lalela learners across our programs got to work on some wonderful art projects.

These varied according to age group, from collaborative anti-poaching posters to beautiful paintings they made on their own of rhino roaming freely in the wild.

Our little ones simply coloured in rhino shapes, filling them with pattern and love – and the results are just as delightful!

Above: These sweet little artists did a beautiful job with their vibrant patterned rhinos!

Some of our young artists responded to this beautiful poem – Praise Song to the Rhinoceros – by spiritual leader Credo Mutwa. Here’s an excerpt:

Ubbejane, you are the thunder of the valleys/

You are the roar among the mountains/

You are the noise upon the plains/

And you are the horn that the moon loves to kiss!/

You are the Rhinoceros/

You are the invincible one/

You are the weak eye that sees into years that are yet to come/

You are the sharp ear that hears a lover’s whisper in the tall grass/

You are the great foot that tramples everything into the ground/

You are the delight of the woodcarvers/

You are the joy of the painters/

You are the song of those who cast in metal/

You are Ubbujane, the Rhinoceros!/

Together with the Elephant, Indlovu, many generations ago, you danced the world into existence, so that green things may grow upon this world…/

…You are Ubbejane, the Rhinoceros/

You are the darling of the waxing moon/

You are the thunder of the mountains/

You are the vibrations on the rocky ground/

You are the hardworking one, the labourer who laboured so that the Earth Mother might plant green things upon this earth…/

It was believed that your dung,  Ubbejane, which no-one dares set on fire to make a fire, can bring peace and and take away enmity between people,/

Ubbejane, long may you roar across the plains of Africa…/

.Ubbejane, animal of our forefathers/

Pillar of the land of Africa/

Post that supports the green world that we know/

Long may you live Ubbejane!/

May you have a thousand sons and a million daughters!/

Oh beloved of the moon goddess, Bayete!/

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Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Your generosity makes it possible for Lalela’s educational arts programmes to create meaningful change that affects thousands of at-risk children in Sub-Saharan Africa.



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