Conservation Artist

People, Rhinos

Walter Sibuyi travels to Budapest

Somebody whose dreams we helped to make possible – now spreading awareness to his pupils!

Walter Sibuyi was invited along to a rhino dehorning earlier this year. He has been raising awareness, through his art of rhinos, even though he had actually never seen one.  He had been nominated for an art award in Brussels, and this seemed to be something that could be turned into a bigger cause. He could raise awareness and making new friends around the world at the same time.

Walter, art teacher campaigning for rhinos at a rain dehorning holding a rhino horn

Walter is an art teacher and sculptor bringing a splash of colour and hope, shaping and moulding the future for young people in Acornhoek. His inspirational art classes at Shobiyana High School are hugely popular, increasing school enrolment rates and improving student attendance.

Under his guidance and care, his lessons have gone a long way to reducing the dropout rate at his school, encouraging learners to return week after week to finesse their creative skills.

“Young people need something that will inspire them and give them hope,” explains Walter.

Walter, art teacher with his pupils

Walter is also renowned for his spectacular sculptures – including huge wire figures filled with rocks. These are installed at Shobiyana High School and in and around Acornhoek.

Walter’s reputation spread as people heard about his work and visited Acornhoek to see his sculptures, posting their pictures on social media. Though this, the Global Art Teachers Exchange programme (GATE) saw his work, and invited him to attend to their international conference in Budapest in September 2023.

Walter needed sponsorship to attend the conference and Rhino Rescue UK were delighted to be able to help someone so inspiring.

“I believe we can change the world through art – without art there is no life.”

Elephants are my favourite animals, because like humans they have a memory, and have so many stories to tell”.

Now back from his art convention in Budapest, Walter is continuing to mentor his community and is creating a life size rhino in a community school and on a traffic roundabout in Acornhoek. 

Walter was very grateful for the opportunity to travel to the convention, and thanked everyone who sponsored him.

“To all people who made it possible for me to attend  Global Art Teachers exchange conference in Budapest. I DEEPLY THANK YOU for the generous donation you made.  I thank you for sending me to Europe with ideas of finding solutions for our environmental situations.

I experienced collective ideas  on teaching arts and will increase my skills on how I will engage & expose youth to art related careers. Learners will be equipped with theoretical and practical experience. 

I was welcomed by teachers from different countries , unaware that they watch my work on social media. I could feel I’m at home, with warm reception from GATE directors. 

On my first workshop session, I had to do concept development  presenting  on how artists use different processes to produce artworks. 

After  my presentation I attended design workshop and learnt so much; so many discipline including architecture and historical buildings – and I met so many art teachers  in the field of Art and Design. 

The workshop session I will always cherish is needle felting. I’m inspired  and motivated to pass the knowledge to the learners. 

The session “Paper Dressing” was one I think was made for me, because recycling also helps reduce land pollution and I always encouraged my learners to. 

I’ve learnt how Budapest was shaped, its history and how memories  of historical events were depicted in public arts including sculptures.  I’d love to add public arts in our village to redefine and reimagined  our natural heritage. 

My decision to campaign for conservation, particularly rhino poaching, is to help save wildlife for future generations. Your generous donations uplifted my spirit. I appreciate your generosity and support for making it happen to have attended. I thank you and may God bless you.”

Thank you to everyone who everyone who donated. We look forward to following Walter as he continues on his journey.

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