Self made artist puts Dilopye on the map

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Self made artist, Mr Hendrick Sithole

He is well known for the police van that he built and displayed it on the main road at Dilopye in 2014 and became an instant hit with the community and became a media sensation.

He has built a moving helicopter, a moving train, and a statue of Police Minister Bheki Cele, that was displayed at the Temba Police Station. His work has been displayed in Japan and the US and he is proud to have put his village on the map. He entertained members of the community during the lockdown by building one-meter size shoes that he calls social distancing and wore them for community members to take pictures of him.

Mr Hendrick Chebanga Sithole (32 ), is a local artist from Dilopye who is passionate about taking art to the next level. He said he started his love for art when he was four years old drawing and building wire cars and animals.

In 2006 after completing secondary school level, he decided to let his hands be his source of income by putting his passion to use by designing small car models, flowers for deco, and drawing as he could not enroll for higher education.

“The Hammanskraal community has supported me all the way and I appreciate that very much because it gives me courage.

“The police van that I built in 2014 using grubber and plastic, really gave me a breakthrough. “The community gave me the nickname ‘Minister of Arts’ which made me feel that I am special to them and it made me realise that people love my work,” he said.

“Motorists were very supportive of my work and donated money and bought me food and I started displaying my van during weekends and building more projects during the week to attract more donations.

“The police van gave me exposure to meet important people and that is how I ended up exporting my work to international destinations and I am happy that the work that originates in Dilopye, Hammanskraal is recognized internationally,” he said.

“When the lockdown hit the country, I decided to build a full functioning life-size Helicopter in the first three months of the lockdown. The police however raised safety concerns and that I did not have a license to operate the helicoper including that it was not registered and that it will cause problems if community members would want to ride it for a test,” he said.

He was compensated for his work and the SAPS arranged for the helicopter to be transported to Limpopo. He took the money he made from the helicopter to built a moving train in two weeks time that he used to transport children to nearby schools.

“I was approached with an offer to buy the train and I agreed to sell it,” he said.

He encouraged everyone to use their talents and never to wait for government or sponsors. “Follow your dreams no matter how hard it is, tell yourself that you will make your dreams come true and it will happen,” he said.