Bringing healing and connection through art

Tafelsig residents and HoneyBush Healing Art team members in a park bordered by Faye Close, Mitchell’s Heights.

A Tafelsig teenager was drawn to a blank wall in his community where he found a sense of connection through the painting of a public mural.

Ferenzo de Jongh, 15, was told by his friend Tyrone May, 15, both from Mitchell Heights, to come meet a group of people to paint a mural just metres from their homes on Sunday January 7.

“I saw they were good people and I wanted to help them,” he said.

He painted a moon, Table Mountain and the sun, a greater picture, after which he felt a part of something “good”.

“People mustn’t draw on my wall. They mustn’t damage and scratch it. No gangster stuff,” he said.

Ferenzo and Tyrone helped the social entrepreneurship HoneyBush Healing Art team to paint the wall white, then create and paint a mural in Faye Close, Mitchell’s Heights.

The team – a volunteer collective of art, music, media, education, sustainability, and development professionals from across Cape Town, are pooling their experiences, skills, compassion, and agency to activate seven child-led murals in seven historically and currently disadvantaged communities by the end of December.

This programme is the brain child of Saba Zahara HoneyBush, a well-seasoned creative, cultural, social impact and green communications specialist who together with her team plans to host these activations depended on social impact investments.

Ms HoneyBush and her team, including eight professionals, have been awarded a scholarship to pursue a Humanitarian Master of Business Administration (MBA) for groups through the Roxbourg Institute of Social Entrepreneurship (RISE) in Switzerland.

The scholarship brings these ten Cape Flats pathmakers to engage with other students globally, particularly on the African continent and in India, as they train to sustainably scale their Honeybush Health Art social venture.

Media and community liaison Gael Reagon, from Portland, said they would like to add value, restore dignity and prevent youth from hanging on the corner, allowing their potential go to waste.

They have identified areas in need of assistance, renewal and bring life to spaces where residents can connect, feel human and create a different environment for themselves.

John Raubenheimer, owner of the wall on which the mural was painted said he was rather impressed with community’s interest and participation in the programme.

“There is a sense of the community taking ownership of their space, which they can help keep clean and marvel in its potential,” he said.

He said since the painting went up, the council have also taken an interest in cleaning and greening the area with water.

The team also received a donation of plants from Tri Toad Nursery, which the mural’s neighbours have planted.

Communications representative Alicia English told the Plainsman that they needed five-colour acrylic paint sets; assorted paint brushes; clothes and aprons; water buckets with lids and black bags; and nutritional snack packs for the children, for each of the walls.

They have painted in Hanover Park, Mitchell’s Plain and Jim se Bos.

“We have also received invitations from the following communities: Strandfontein, Lentegeur, Hanover Park, Montana, Gugulethu, Langa, Kensington, Hangberg in Hout Bay, Athlone, Woodstock.

“But are in need of donations or sponsors to make these happen,” she said.

To donate and for more information call Ms HoneyBush on 084 077 6630 or email honeybushsabazahara@gmail.com

Ferenzo de Jongh, 15, his friend Tyrone May, 15, both from Mitchell Heights, helped paint a mural.