WATCH | Waiting, a short documentary about Makhaza-based sculpture artist Petrus Nooi

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Petrus Nooi, a sculpture artist from Cape Town, is the subject of a compelling short documentary, Waiting. (Photo: Supplied)
Petrus Nooi, a sculpture artist from Cape Town, is the subject of a compelling short documentary, Waiting. (Photo: Supplied)
  • Waiting is short documentary by Cape Town-based filmmaker Thomas Dalais.
  • The documentary takes a furtive, intimate glace at a sculpture garden created by artist Petrus Nooi.
  • The self-taught Nooi makes fantastical, folkloric artworks, which he touts to passersby.

Just a half an hour from Cape Town's city, on the edge of Makhaza in Khayelitsha lies an immaculate sculpture garden of angelic, folkloric concrete creatures.

All of these fantastical creations are born from the memories and imagination of artist, Petrus Nooi who caught the eye of Cape Town-base filmmaker Thomas Dalais.

Dalais explains: 

I first came across Petrus and his sculpture garden in late 2019. My girlfriend was dropping off a colleague in the area and discovered the garden, and knowing that I am always hunting for stories and phoned me screaming "you have to see this place!". I went to see for myself and immediately I was taken by how unusual and charming his work was. I had never seen anything like it. Some pieces were dark and ominous, others were cute and quirky. It felt like a wonderland . Petrus, a shy, slender built man in his late thirties, came to greet me. His hands and forearms were white with dry cement as he shook my hand with a big smile.

Dalais would spend the next few months earning Nooi's trust, filming the intimate minutia of his work and life. Completely self-taught and self-sufficient, Nooi has dedicated himself to this artistry.

Waiting, the documentary that this chance encounter produced, is aimed at showcasing Petrus’ work to a wider audience in the hope of bringing him more business, bringing an end to his long wait.

The film also  tackles the notion of what it means to be a true artist whilst competing against the unfair socio-economic opportunities imposed by post-apartheid South Africa. 

WATCH | Waiting

Nooi says he feel compelled to make this work. "I have give my heart to this," he explains. "I don't feel that I have any choice in the matter." 

Those wanting to view and support Nooi's work can do so via this Facebook page.

Film Credits:


Director & Executive producer: Thomas Dalais

Director of Photography: Robin Taylor

1st AC: Rory Springthorpe

Producer: Micaelyn Traut

Production Assistant: Zizipho Liganiso

Editor: Thomas Dalais

Cast: Petrus Nooi, Ayanda Luvuyo Morosi

Music: Mimoun Marhaba by Maalem Mahmoud Ghania and Floating Points 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24