Save rhino cam­paign is an art

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Shanice Naidoo

ONE man’s vi­sion to help save rhi­nos has come to life. Bran­don Chal­lis has cre­ated a pos­i­tive way for ev­ery­one in South Africa to be­come in­volved in do­ing some­thing to save the rhi­nos.

While we may feel help­less at the mo­ment, his idea is to break the Guin­ness World Record for the big­gest paint­ing. The paint­ing will have 1 200 life-size rhi­nos, which are how many rhi­nos that are killed each year by poach­ers, said Chal­lis.

“The aim is to take this Guin­ness World Record paint­ing to Viet­nam and China and get chil­dren in­volved in those coun­tries to change the minds of their el­ders that are us­ing rhino horn. I had a break from the project af­ter break­ing my feet and end­ing up in a wheel­chair in 2013. I also have two boys to sup­port and UCT is ex­pen­sive. This project is self-funded and my way to re­duce de­mand in South­east Asia. The poach­ers are poor des­per­ate peo­ple, so I don’t blame them.”

Last Fri­day on World Rhino Day, 36 schools par­tic­i­pated by com­plet­ing their own paint­ings. The paint­ings will then be sewn to­gether to equal 11 000m² which could cover the New­lands Cricket Field.

“This has been a pas­sion of mine ever since I saw the in­crease in de­mand for rhino horn and thus poach­ing in 2007. I started paint­ing in 2013 with kids at the Kider­huis Or­phan­age in the north­ern sub­urbs.”

He vis­ited Camps Bay Pri­mary School, where the kids were ec­static to paint with him. They com­pleted a 300m² paint­ing. A Grade 4 pupil at Camps Bay Pri­mary, Ge­or­gia Alt­beker, 10, said: “This project was great to work on and I think I speak on be­half of all the pupils in the eco club and art club that we had fun. We think this project will make peo­ple around the world think twice about poach­ing rhi­nos.”

The schools eco club head said the pro­tec­tion of an­i­mals is very close to many of their chil­dren’s and teacher’s hearts.

“We had been look­ing for an an­i­mal-fo­cused project, and when we heard about Bran­don’s ex­cit­ing ini­tia­tive we didn’t need a sec­ond to think about it… we were in. We man­aged to fin­ish the piece in less than a week. The mo­ment that made my heart ex­plode with pride was see­ing colour­ful feet and hands, mix­ing and merg­ing and paint­ing and cre­at­ing, a col­lab­o­rated piece of art.” – JBJ Re­porter

a 300m² cloth with a life-size rhino on it. They are do­ing this in an It s Rhino Day at Camps Bay Pri­mary School. Pupils have paintedPic­tures: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA) at­tempt to break the World Guin­ness record for the long­est paint­ing.

Camps Bay Pri­mary School has painted a 300m² cloth.

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