11 November 2009
By Thomo waga Nkgadima
Self taught Paulus Maphanga (28) became a visual artist by being a job creator and not a job hunter when he started to concentrate on his talent.
The 28 year – old, who hails from poverty stricken community of Praktiseer near Burgersfort ‘the first democratic platinum town’, in Limpopo developed a love for art while at attending school some years ago. “I was not interested to listen when they teach in class as I was enjoying doing my drawings during school hours” Maphanga said.
Maphanga blamed the education system as too academically focused on theory than based on skills development. He said our education system train a generation of job hunters not job creators.
When he was doing grade 12 he dropped out of school due to poor family background and started to be passionate about art.
It was strange for such a young man to make a living, selling his art work. At the time most of his customers were whites’ tourists.
Since then Maphanga focused on his talent to pursue his dream and never looked back.
His perseverance finally paid off and today Maphanga is making money to make a living.
For now, Maphanga is working tirelessly to prune promising emerging young artists in his hometown in an effort to keep young people away from the street. “Our township youth are known for alcohol abuse and sex as part of their entertainment but some of them end up committing crime to maintain their bad habit of alcohol abuse,” He said.
Meanwhile, however Greater Tubatse municipality wasted R2m constructing a sports complex in a donga at Praktiseer during 2002 and heavy rains washed it away.
An audit conducted by Sizwe Ntsaluba Forensics revealed that R88000 allocated to youth projects may have been taken. According to the report R39 631, 77 of the money could not be accounted for even though 21 500 was spend on unfinished car wash project that was latter demolished to pave ways for the construction of a taxi rank.
The income generated from the car wash was deposited into personal savings account of the then ward councilor Collins Dlamini‘s younger brother Sipho Dlamini as it was not registered with the department of social welfare as a section 21, Community Based Organisation (CBO). According to letter from public protector they are still waiting for a letter from the Auditor-General to explain what happen to the taxpayer’s money.
Meanwhile Maphanga a bread winner of a family of six is selling his own art works to generate income, provide for his family and manage it effectively.
Any one willing to assist Maphanga financially to establish an Art Studio that will enable him to conduct his free classes, create more jobs for the jobless and to showcase his art work overseas can contact him on 079 270 0777.