By: Qhawekazi Memani – 20 January 2023

Fine arts

The Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) fine arts students recently took part in a community outreach initiative with Ms Nkululeko Khumalo, the University’s Lecturer and an Independent Art Curator. The students painted walls at the historical Dhlomo Dam situated in Sharpeville.

According to Ms Khumalo, the project came about when she was approached by Mr Ndimande from the Gauteng Sport Art Culture and Recreation to come assist primary school learners to revitalize the Dam and the park in the surrounding area. “In the past not, much maintenance was being done to the place, and children were not using it because of its state. Various primary school learners in Sharpeville asked Mr Ndimande to assist them paint the walls. Passionate about school children, Mr Ndimande brought paints and brushes to paint the walls, “alluded Ms Khumalo.  “The project brought unity in the community and got people talking – some enquiring while others brought in their input and shared their own history of Sharpeville and the space that we are working on. The project even attracted people who were not living in Sharpeville,” shared Ms Khumalo.

Ms Khumalo further stated that a prevalent sentiment amongst the people who valued the work done was that the project is keeping the community children safe.

“Painting Dhlomo walls for us was a good experience, it was our first time creating an artwork on the wall, and we began to like it – at first, we thought it was hard but now we know how to paint the wall. We enjoyed every single day of painting until the last day and gained experience and interest in painting because mostly we used to do pencil artworks. People approaching us for commission work was also amazing,” said Toby Kobo and Happy Macina, third year Fine Arts students at VUT.

“In general, this project has brought so many ideas to our students and made them see the importance of participating in community outreach programmes. They saw the importance of giving back. We all assisted freely from the bottom of our hearts. This made the students realise that when you invest in yourself, positive things come from it,” said Ms Khumalo.