'Be Kind' artwork outside Sandton City aims to create positive perception of Joburg

2019-01-20 08:13
Rabbi David Masinter, director of the Miracle Drive annual charity drive and Chabad House poses next to the 'Be Kind' artwork outside Sandton City (Supplied)

Rabbi David Masinter, director of the Miracle Drive annual charity drive and Chabad House poses next to the 'Be Kind' artwork outside Sandton City (Supplied)

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The bustling city of Johannesburg, while often regarded as vibrant, struggles to shake off images of a city struggling to overcome crime, filth and decay. 

But one man is hoping to change that through an art installation. 

Along Rivonia Road and Sandton Drive, the words "Be Kind", displayed in different colours, stand out. 

The man behind the installation, Rabbi David Masinter, says it's words like this that can change the perception of a city.

"First of all, there is a rule: in life, negative action creates negative energy," said the Chabad House Rabbi. 

Similar artworks

Masinter said 18 similar artworks would soon be installed across the City of Gold, to send out a clear message that its citizens need to be kinder. 

While he hopes to install similar artworks in other provinces, his focus at this point is on Johannesburg and Pretoria. 

"There is a lot of kindness happening in Johannesburg and if we can all just harness and bring it out, if we can all just work together, there is just so much positivity. We should just motivate each other to do good," he said. 

"Even negative speech creates negative energy. You can insult somebody and destroy his day, week, month, year, decade, even life. But even negative thought creates negative energy," he said.

'Be Kind' art installation, Johannesburg, Chabad h

                                    Rabbi David Masinter next to 'Be Kind' artwork outside Sandton City (Supplied)

He said the artworks were a follow up from a campaign that ran in 2018 in which billboards were erected around the city, encouraging citizens to "Just Be Kind", "Tell someone they look great" or "Call your mom". 

READ: Joburgers be kind to one another, campaign urges

Masinter added that he was also the architect of Acts of Random Kindness - a campaign in which yellow plastic arks are distributed to Joburgers, which they can fill up with coins. He said Joburgers had the choice to distribute the funds raised from the arks to any charity they wished to. 

Masinter said he was very affected by positive teachings, which is why the artwork's message also meant so much to him as a way to get others in the city, who also took the message to heart, to start caring for each other.

"My message to South Africans is that there is so much good and there is so much opportunity, let's just bring it out, and you first got to get your mind right," he said.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  johannebsurg  |  good news

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