Ben Khethani of Madimbo village outside Musina, who has caught the attention of many people because of his distinct ability to turn mortar into chairs, stools and tables.
Khethani, a self-taught artist, said: “I went to visit a friend when I saw some beautiful seating made of cement. I had never worked on cement structures before, but I told myself that I would construct those things personally.”
He bought bags of cement and started working on a cement table and chairs at home. “When local people saw my first structures, they loved them and requested me to do some for them. After three months, I had more than 10 satisfied customers in my home village.”
Khethani added that he had customers from as far as Lephalale, Thohoyandou, Tshakhuma, Musina and Polokwane. “I was surprised to note that those people admired my work. That was why I decided to make it a formal business and approached hree local community members to help me when a lot of work has to be done.”
He cautioned those who are not working not to fold their arms and wait for the government to employ them. “There are many people out there who keep on complaining that they have nothing to do to earn some income. I beg to differ from people who say there are no jobs in South Africa. Jobs are galore, but most of the people are too lazy to come up with initiatives that will bring some food on their tables. Let’s all work hard to contribute to the economic development of our country.”
Khethani said he was ready and willing to teach his skills free of charge: “If community members want to be taught my skills or want me to come and work for them, they can contact me on 072 859 8413.”