Growing up in the rural community of Bergville, Malusi Manzini’s passion for artwork, creativity and recycling began with creating one model of a rural home out of cardboard. At first, Malusi did not plan on using his God-given talent in creative arts. However, with a family of four brothers and two sisters and no one working at home, he managed to use his creativity to support his family. Malusi made more artwork out of the materials he could find, such as plastic materials and cardboard, and sold them to raise income each month.
After matriculating, Malusi moved to Chesterville in 2012 to live with his brother, and was able to study Social Work at UNISA. He continued to create artwork as he completed his Social Work practical in the community.
“After moving away from a rural area towards the city of Durban, I was so fascinated by the kind of lifestyle lived here. I could easily draw the difference in the type of infrastructure found here in the city with the ones in the rural areas, I was so motivated by this difference that I even decided to take a picture of one of the houses and tried to build it into a smaller scale using cardboard as part of recycling.”
During this time, he met Nomakaya Mpambaniso, CAST’s Chesterville Community Co-ordinator, who took an interest in his artwork. Nomakaya encouraged Malusi to showcase his artwork at West City Fellowship (WCF) in Chesterville, and she also connected Malusi with CAST’s Youth Development Programme.
Excited about the opportunity, Malusi joined CAST as a volunteer soccer coach working with 23 boys between the ages of 13-15 years old. However, he envisioned the programme to go beyond just sports. Malusi realised that some of the boys showed artistic potential, so he developed a formal Creative Arts Programme.
The boys use recycled plastic materials and cardboard to create their artwork. CAST and WCF also support Malusi’s programme by donating materials such as brushes, paint, scissors and glue.
“I like to work with the younger boys and share stories. I tell them to try to be creative, try to make your own things. Don’t depend on your parents. I encourage the boys to finish matric and go to university.”
Malusi and his boys are looking forward to attending the upcoming CAST boys2Men Camp in October. Although Malusi has not attended the camp previously, he believes this will be a good opportunity for his boys to develop values such as respect and self-determination, while also spending quality time with peers to share ideas and support each other in learning how to become strong men.
In the past month, ten boys from Malusi’s programme have raised the necessary funds (R200/$15 per boy) to attend camp. CAST still needs to raise another R350/$27 per boy to cover the entire cost of 60 boys attending camp. This is a unique opportunity for the boys to experience life outside of their community, grow in their walk with the Lord and learn more about what it means to become a man. If you are interested in sponsoring one of Malusi’s boys to go to boys2Men camp or donating art supplies for the Creative Arts Programme, please contact George at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 079 596 7364