By ARNO CORNELISSEN
There’s no more space for waste, says Nyaniso Lindi, who has created an exhibition out of other people’s trash.
It’s called Waya-Waya, ‘kasi slang for chaos, of the kind you find at the local rubbish dump. There’s a double meaning in the title; waya-waya can refer to “the voice of the township”, says the Joza local, and also has a link to the wire cars sometimes made by people who survive by scavenging from the dumpsite.
Lindi was born in Makhanda 49 years ago and is disturbed by the litter in the surroundings due to overconsumption and municipal failure. He decided to turn other people’s trash into art and established a studio behind his mother’s house. Called the BackShack Studio, he works amidst his past creations, which he has put on display for visitors.
Situated within the community, he uses his creativity to influence young people positively.
Neighbours support his work by bringing found objects that others have discarded but that Lindi incorporates into his sculptures.
He says he has also received assistance from wealthier patrons, having been given access to art classes and funding opportunities. One such opportunity has been provided by the National Arts Festival, allowing him to present his art to the city, the country, and perhaps the world.
He says people “from suburbia” have yet to show much interest in visiting his studio but hopes being on the festival programme will bridge the gap and introduce more people to his space and, by extension, the township.
“We are all guilty of waste”, he says, and are responsible for what we consume and how we dispose of it. It will benefit everyone if dump sites can be transformed into more hygienic and aesthetically pleasing environments for those who interact with them.
This can be done by people getting together to collect the waste and find solutions to the problem of excessive consumption.
Lindi is doing a walkabout of his exhibition Waya-Waya at his studio in Joza, Makhanda, on 25 June, 28 June, 30 June, and 2 July. Check the programme for details.