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Mveliso recycles waste into art

Written by Allison Cooper

Artist Mveliso Ntaba makes miniature replicas of houses, cities and townships, all from recycled materials.Talented artist Mveliso Ntaba (29) from Ivory Park, in Midrand, is turning recycled household refuse into beautiful works of art.

When Ntaba graduated from Ekurhuleni West College in 2015, after studying office administration, he couldn’t find a job. “I started selling raw and boiled eggs to make a living,” he says.

Little did he know that this would change his life. “One day when I was selling the eggs, I was bored so I started playing with the plastic packing that the eggs come in. I started cutting and shaping it and made my first miniature house out of it. I realised then that I loved making it and that I love art,” says Ntaba.

In the years that followed, Ntaba has turned his passion for art into a career. He makes miniature houses, cities and townships; picture frames; jewellery; accessories; caps and anything else that his clients ask him to make – all purely from recycled materials that he finds at the dumping site near Halfway House in Midrand. The materials include cardboard, glass, plastic, bottle tops, sand and stone.

“Clients even ask me to make miniature replicas of their own house,” says Ntaba, explaining that it takes about three weeks to make one eight-room miniature house.

“I’m also inspired by watching other people make amazing things. This makes me do even more of the artwork I do,” he says.

As for the future, Ntaba would love to study further, especially art, design and architecture. “I would love to learn how to turn my art into a professional business and I really want to open my own art gallery one day,” he says.

His message to unemployed youth is to be creative, in any way. “You need to find yourself and the things you enjoy. Stick with them, try to improve and make new things,” he says.

To view Ntaba’s artworks, visit his Facebook page @mvelisoteardrop and find him on Twitter: @Mveliso77.