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CContemporary artist Mbongeni Buthelezi flew the South African flag high at the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP27, held in Sherm El-Shaeik, in Egypt last month.

The talented artist and climate activist is known for using plastic waste to create highly textured portraits. Buthelezi’s visually arresting artworks are created through a unique technique that sees him working with a paint made from melted plastic waste. Plastic waste pollution is increasing around the globe and threatening marine life. Buthelezi uses his work to both highlight and combat the issue.

Buthelezi’s artworks paint the world with the vibrant colours of the South African flag, while also ensuring sustainability to the environment. His work as an artist and activist firmly places South Africa at the forefront of climate action, mitigation and adaptation, all key measures to reducing climate change.

A series of his artworks, depicting the destructive impact of single-use plastics in our oceans, were on display at the UNFCCC pavilion and Bloomberg Climate Hub set up at the climate summit. Buthelezi was handpicked through an initiative backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which saw the charitable organisation donate art and music supplies to students and young people in Kwa-Thema, Soweto and Orange Farm, three South African communities that Buthelezi works with to support emerging talent and to inspire ongoing creative responses to the local climate emergency.

As South Africa’s tourism sector recovery plan kicks into higher gear, Buthelezi’s art echoes the message of South African Tourism’s Live Again Global Brand campaign, inviting all visitors to come experience this country filled with rich, authentic, unfiltered experiences.

Buthelezi was featured in one of South Africa’s leading television news channels and can be viewed here







Name: Thandiwe Mathibela

GM: Global PR, Communications and Stakeholder Relations


Twitter: @gotosouthafrica

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