Tafelsig resident Michael Bell has started a mural art project to get the community to take ownership of open spaces in the area.
The Tafelsig Placemaking Initiative was launched on Saturday July 13 on the corner of Kilimanjaro Street and AZ Berman Drive, next to the Nelson Mandela Youth and Family Centre.
In September last year, the community applied a base coat of paint on the walls in preparation for the art work but could not continue the painting as they needed approval from the City of Cape Town.
In May this year, Mr Bell, founder of Mitchell’s Plain Online, received approval from the City of Cape Town and support from various stakeholders. It will take about three to six weeks for the art work to be completed.
“I come from Tafelsig and my passion is mural arts and open spaces. The open spaces are used by gangsters, it is time we take back our street corners and open spaces and use it for good, (to create an area) where our young people can dwell again,” Mr Bell said.
“We also need to look after our open spaces and appreciate what the government has given us.”
The mural was conceptualised by artist Mak1One from Eastridge.
On Saturday, Mak1One and his crew invited the community to join the initiative to beautify the area.
The area on the corner of Kilimanjaro Street and AZ Berman Street was identified for the pilot project.
“This is the first phase of the Tafelsig Placemaking Initiative. The idea is to create a cultural hub and link it with the Nelson Mandela Youth and Family Centre as well as the Wolfgat Nature Reserve,” said Mr Bell.
Wesley Nash, an architect who Mr Bell met at the Young Urbanist Workshop hosted by Future Cape Town, an urban development NPO, helped by looking at the area from an architectural and aesthetic point of view and advising where the murals could best be placed to bring life to the open spaces.
Director of Future Cape Town, Rashiq Fataar, said: “This project is amazing for people who believe in it and those who come from this space. People who live here are taking the lead and that’s amazing.”
Luke Williams, a town planner and alumnus from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), brought their service learning students to join the project so they could get to know the area and apply their knowledge to create solutions for the use of open spaces.
Sheval Arendse, chairperson of Sub-council 12 and ward councillor for Ward 82, donated the paint for the project and has been with Mr Bell and the initiative since it started.
He expressed his appreciation to those who have come out and helped in sharing the community’s vision of creating safe and dignified spaces in Tafelsig that everybody can be proud of.