Child’s vision becomes art

Talents learnt growing up bear fruit

BEAD and wire artist John Savhiya has gone from making toys with his brothers to creating one-of-a-kind trophies for one of the toughest ocean swims in the world – the Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy Challenge.

The Zimbabwe-born artist was spotted by Michael Zoetmulder of Zsports in 2009.

He was immediately tasked with creating authentic African trophies for the 5km openwater event, the latest edition of which was held last month.

“His work is exquisite and we soon learnt that you could give him any picture and he could make it out of beads and wire,” Zoetmulder, who has challenged him with creating everything from penguins to a replica bell buoy, all from wire and beads, said.

“We wanted something that felt truly South African, which is exactly what he provided. People from many different countries have gone home with his trophies so his work has since gone all over the world,” he said.

Zoetmulder saw Savhiya selling his wares on the corner of Main Road and 8th Avenue, Walmer.

-Eleanor Douglas-Meyers

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