Throughout 2021, a group of innovative youths gathered to be a part of Amava’s first printmaking and youth entrepreneur course, Pollinating Pride in People. With the help of Ingcungcu Sunbird Restoration and False Bay College, participants Tapiwa, Nat, Khanya, Christian, Thembi, and Diego propelled through the programme and its workshops.
Although the key focus of this course was learning how to design and create beautiful prints, it was accompanied by gaining an appreciation for fynbos and an understanding of entrepreneurial endeavours. The group was able to connect with nature through interactive activities, such as fynbos tea making and hikes. In addition, they learnt about fynbos diversity and ecology while promoting awareness of the conservation of indigenous flora.
Activities and workshops that our pollinators took part in. These included printmaking and entrepreneurship courses and learning about fynbos.
Ideally, this project doesn’t stop at the end of this year. Instead, the participants now have the skills to grow their product for their futures. Every month, our printmakers took part in workshops that would allow them to move through the steps of product development. For instance, they learnt about planning, design, marketing and then implementation of the final creation.
Some of the participants shared their insight of the past year; about what they learnt, experienced, and were inspired by. Speaking to each Pollinator gave a much deeper appreciation of what this programme has to offer.
Above are two prints created by Khanya Fusa, who is photographed right.
Nat’s year of Pollinating was an eye-opening and educational journey. It changed his perspective and the way he interpreted his view on the world. This was especially true for the impact his actions have on the environment, his community, and society. He met amazing people who are passionate about their purpose; people who have stories to tell deeply rooted in what they do and who they are. Being in a single space where all of this co-exists and correlates led to an enlightening ten months.
Inspiration comes from many places. For Nat, it comes from storytelling, educating those around him, and acknowledging societal problems. As an artist who loves fashion and music, Nat described art as a “tool that brings about awareness and tackles social issues where most people don’t have a voice”.
Nat Kabongo created designs to print on upcycled denim pieces, giving them new life.
Driven by the underlying theme of fynbos and the environment, Nat used his time this year to decrease the amount of fashion waste that litters our planet by upcycling donated or thrifted denim pieces. To prolong the life of these items, he fused social issues and fashion to create wearable art that can inform youth of the myriad of problems that we face today.
Tapiwa described Pollinating in Pride as the ability to spread happiness, knowledge, love, and passion. She loves what she does, as it gives her a space to tell stories that inform people about fynbos and other community concerns.
Tapiwa Mishi shows off her stylish creations made using denim jackets and jeans.
With a focus on denim printing, Tapiwa created many fabulous pieces. Each piece embodies her individuality and zest for life. A recent project involved the use of denim tote bags. Tapiwa described that this idea was to represent and suit everyone in a product that would express their views. A pair of brown jeans led to the creation of tote bags and adding the fynbos prints gave the bags new life. Each bag looks completely original with its own style and colour which highlights fynbos’s unique and diverse characteristics.
During the project, Christian Mbombo created his own brand, the Fine Bush.
Despite 2021’s turbulence, this group of youths not only became printmakers but bloomed into changemakers, too. Luckily, this ripple effect of empowering youths doesn’t end this year. The beginning of 2022 will bring a fresh bunch of pollinators to continue the story of Pollinating Pride in People.
If this is something you would like to contribute towards, please consider a donation.