Sunday, 10 February 2013

Business, African style

Gibson Rugwinya happened to be cycling down the road as I was getting out of my car at my friend's house one early evening. We smiled and greeted one another. This is not a country where strangers politely ignore one another, so I was only mildly surprised when Gibson, a total stranger to me, jumped off his bike to give me a great bear-hug.


He was interested in the camera over my shoulder, and in what kinds of pictures I like to take. We exchanged some life history and I learned that he was not local but from Namibia. Then he told me he was an artist and had a certain gift. 


Because I have a love affair with the kind of artistic creativity that flourishes here, usually involving recycled materials, I expressed an interest, and Gibson opened a battered box tied to the back of his bicycle.

(At this point I was really hoping I would like what I was about to see, because it was going to be awfully hard to turn down someone of Gibson's charm).


I loved what I saw. Working from discarded sheet metal, Gibson creates busy, active people, from hunters to athletes to musicians. 




I loved this quartet, but  there was a problem. I didn't have cash on me to pay for them.
No problem! said Gibson. Take them, and I will write down the number of my savings account.
So you're going to give me these sculptures and trust that I will pay you?
Gibson looked affronted. Of course I trust you! We're friends now!

9 comments:

  1. Love his work...I am especially fond of up cycling. It is fascinating to meet people at random.

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  2. i love that story.....renews your faith doesn't it? just had a wonderful catchup on your blog, amazing pictures and great info too....just last week some friends were amazed we had no yearning to visit south africa...your pictures have convinced me otherwise!

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  3. FABULOUS! Love it!

    Happy musical Sunday, my Dear,
    xxxkarin

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  4. This is what life should be. Everywhere. God bless that man, and God bless you, Karen.
    And, I too, love the pieces. So if both Francine and I love them they must be wonderful.

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  5. I love the collection bought...even better with the story behind it!
    Karen

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  6. Karen, what a joyful creative spirit lives within Mr Rugwinya! I can easily see why you would want to be able to continue to look at the little quartet. Perhaps the drummer is my favorite because I always like to look at drummers, but I like each of the characters very much.

    xo

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  7. I have met people this open and trusting in Holland. At one point I think most of us were this way, before reality stepped in w/ a few hard knocks. Wonderful story about meeting this talented creator!

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  8. Such joyful sculptures!
    Heart warming story
    Bravo

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  9. It's like a fairy tale in real life!
    And the figures are enchanting too ---

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