Wacky Wildlife Eating Waste

Written By: The Lowdown - Nov• 30•12

In the September issue of The Lowdown we wrote about the pressure under which Africa’s wildlife is struggling to survive with the onslaught of commercial poaching operations whose prime purpose seems to be the export of wildlife body parts to other countries.

Kachere Art Studio share the same concern as we do – that these poaching operations are depriving our children and our grandchildren of their birthright and their national heritage. To bring this to the attention of the public in general they have embarked on a unique sensitisation programme – the erection of statues around the country, the first of which is a rhino at the park at Longacres Shopping Centre in Lusaka.

But this is a statue and a statement with a difference – a rhino framed in steel and wire, which is being stuffed full of plastic which has been collected off the streets of Lusaka – killing, if you will pardon the pun, two birds with one stone. Once as much plastic waste as possible has been stuffed into the rhino, further plastic waste will be applied to the outside and then heated to form a hard shell around the rhino – an ingenious idea.

The Kachere Art Studio artists have been ‘manning’ the statue for eighteen hours a day since World Rhino Day on 22 September, engaging passers-by, school children, kaponya, Ng’wangwazi, street kids; in fact anybody who cares to become part of what they are doing, educating these people on the need to protect our heritage (wildlife and other) for future generations and the need to keep our environment clean and green.

But it goes even further – they have been giving the kaponya’s lessons on how to print on T-shirts, effectively giving them a way of generating income for themselves. We expect that in the future we will see home-printed Chipolopolo T-shirts for sale on the streets prior to big soccer games. How good would that be? Much better than mass produced (outside of Zambia) shirts in our Zambian colours.

The passion of the artists for this cause is astonishing and they have also generated massive enthusiasm amongst Lusaka residents including Lusaka’s Mayor. The local press have given this project extensive coverage and even the China News Agency has been there. But where is the BBC? They seem to be missing in action.

Following the success of the rhino in Lusaka, Kachere plan to take this to all the major centres in Zambia, the Big Ten!

As we go to press, the rhino is almost completely stuffed and by the time this issue of The Lowdown hits the streets, the rhino should be complete with a hard outer shell and a strengthened base to ensure that Lusaka’s rhino doesn’t fall over but instead remains a permanent fixture on the park at Longacres.

Funding for this project has been provided, in part, by the Civil Society Environment Fund supported by the Governments of Denmark and Finland.

Join them on Facebook





You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.