Ceramicist gives back through art

SPREADING HER SKILLS: Nosikhumbuzo Jali of Khabane Pottery is helping schoolchildren to learn about the practical side of producing ceramics
SPREADING HER SKILLS: Nosikhumbuzo Jali of Khabane Pottery is helping schoolchildren to learn about the practical side of producing ceramics
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

Using arts to keep children off the streets and away from social ills, a King William’s Town ceramicist has been doing her bit to upskill the youth.

Since 2015, Nosikhumbuzo Jali, 44, has been teaching pupils from five primary schools in East London and two high schools in her hometown how to be potters for an hour a day.

The owner of Khabane Pottery told the Daily Dispatch she wanted to equip pupils with art skills.

“The children are taught creative theory in some schools and not the practical work. I’m doing this to transfer the skills that I have with them and to keep art alive and represented.

“Children are very creative and from time to time they need that nudge to keep going. Sometimes I learn new things from them as well.

“They can decide to be artists if they want to in future but I want to keep the art passion burning,” she said.

Growing up in Thaphushe village, Jali said she did not know she could make a living off clay until her aunt persuaded her to choose a career in arts.

“Art is therapeutic for me. My aim is to get the skills out there and get as many children as possible in exploring their creativity.”

Jali makes plates, vases and bowls at the Gompo Arts Centre in East London where some of the children go to get assistance with their creative arts homework.

She lends the helping hand for free.

“It’s my passion for it that drives me to do this. The only problem is that there are not many art centres around and the department of education is not doing much in terms of the practical practice in schools.

“Parents must also assist their children that love art. My aim is to help them to be better potters and assist as many children as possible. I would also want others to come and work with me in future.”

Ayabonga Tapile, 18, of Tyuthu village, has benefited from Jali’s teaching.

The Qonce High Grade 9 pupil said : “I had always loved arts, but in school we are only taught theory. She has helped me a lot to love arts more.

S“he taught us to make plates and bowls. I can make plates now, but I am not perfect. I love art and I will continue to learn from her.”

ziyandaz@dispatch.co.za


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