Pieter Mmachaka (26) is using his passion for architecture and building design to create beautiful, hand-crafted, three-dimensional house models from recycled materials.
Mmachaka, from Lotus Garden in Tshwane, was born in Ga-Botha Village in Uitvlugt, Limpopo and moved to Atteridgeville when he was six years old.
At the age of nine, he realised he loved to draw and used his maths set to create houses, knowing he could turn his passion into a career one day.
“My mother, Kibe Rosina Mmachaka, brought us a book from her workplace, where she worked as a domestic worker. It was all about various career fields, including architecture," he recalls.
Mmachaka and his brother soon tried their hand at crafts. “I was inspired by my brother and his artistic skills. I was fascinated by how beautiful his crafts were. I tried to make some, but I failed.
“He then taught me how to make crafts using my maths set and squares, and I fell in love with crafts and started making them almost every day, when I didn’t have homework,” says Mmachaka.
Living in a shack in Atter- idgeville also inspired him. “I loved houses from early age and didn’t want to live in a shack my entire life,” says Mmachaka.
Now a crafter for nine years, Mmachaka has honed his skills and loves it when people admire his work.
“When I was young, I didn’t really sell my work, I just took any money if someone wanted to buy it. Now, I sell my work to clients from my home.”
Mmachaka's message to young crafters is to nurture their talent.
“When you nurture your talent, it automatically imp- roves. Knowledge is power. Always educate yourself about what you do and conduct research so that you know the value of what you do.”
He adds that learning is not only about being at school.
“Never complain and use what you have, for example recycle rubbish into crafts. Art is all about creativity and contributing to the economy, while taking care of the environment,” he says.
Mmachaka works at Dithakga House Plan and Building Construction, where he’s being mentored on how to design house plans.
“I love being on-site and seeing how to turn a design into someone’s dream house for them,” he says.
Mmachaka’s goals are to bring change to the economy and environment and create more jobs for a sustainable future.