Masi sand artist given a hand up

2019-11-26 06:00
Michael Myekwa admires his new sign, which encourages donations for his business.

Michael Myekwa admires his new sign, which encourages donations for his business.

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For several months now, Revamp The Valley community improvement non-profit organisation (NPO) has been running a Back-A-Buddy crowdfunding campaign to assist local sand-sculptor, Michael Myekwa, build his business.

Myekwa has received a lot of positive support from residents and tourists as he creates sand sculptures on Fish Hoek beach. Donations from beachgoers who see his work are his only form of income, making sculpting an important part of Myekwa’s life. But he was unable to do it regularly as he lived far from the beach.

Leigh Barret of Revamp the Valley explains: “He was living in Malmesbury but he gets much better support in Fish Hoek. I worked with him and helped him to build his business here – especially for over the festive season.”

Thanks to the assistance of the NPO, Myekwa is now a resident of Masiphumelele. He is dedicated to building his art business beyond sand to include cement sculptures and more.

“I want to make moulds now. I want to create something that I can sell and make money from. They (bathers) make sandcastles but they want to make big dragons like my one,” Myekwa says.

Barret says funds raised for Myekwa are for materials so that he can achieve his business goals instead of accepting hand-outs.

Barret has been working with him on his business plan through Angels Resource Centre’s eZone.

Revamp The Valley partnered with a local company, Creative Designs, to make a sign that can be erected wherever Myekwa works.

The sign encourages admirers to support the art through a cash donation or via Zapper. The design of the sign also ensures Myekwa’s donations box is more secure than the previous one, which was constantly at risk of being stolen.

“With a more secure set-up, Myekwa can focus on his art, instead of keeping one eye on his donations box,” Barret says.

Creative Designs’s director Jerry Cupido donated materials and labour to create the sign and met with Barret and Myekwa to install it on Saturday 23 November.

“We try to help whoever needs our help and we try to pay it forward. When I saw him three weeks ago, he didn’t have a nice sign,” Cupido says.

Creative Designs, located at Fish Eagle Park, has been operating in the community for more than 20 years, building burglar bars, gates and more across the peninsula. Barret says Zip-Print also provided a generous discount on the sign’s printing cost.

Funds raised are injected directly into Myekwa’s business to help it grow.

Beachgoers can also support Myekwa by snapping a picture of his work and sending it to Barret to place on signature postcards which are sold at the eZone; with profits also going to Myekwa’s business.

V For more information on how to support Myekwa, contact Barret at


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