Shaun Pollock is a retired South African cricketer said to be one of the best bowling all-rounders in the world. He is the leading wicket taker among South Africans, taking over 400 test wickets and scoring over 3,700 test runs in his 108 Test matches. Having travelled the world, Shaun still stands by the fact that there truly is no place like home. “It is fantastic to be part of something that is trying to protect our country’s heritage, and what makes us unique – our wildlife,” says Pollock. The DESIGN – The green & gold artwork, cricket kit and Protea flowers on the rhino reflects the South African cricket team that Shaun dedicated his life to. Having his family on the rhino is a symbol of where he got the inspiration to get involved with the project. “I hope that my children’s children will be able to see a live rhino and for this reason saw the need to get involved with the Rhino Parade. I have been blessed with success in my life, but now I am focused on making my life significant,” said Pollock.
Pat Lambie International rugby player and avid fan of wildlife, Pat Lambie, is also adding his voice to the fight against rhino poaching. His rhino DESIGN incorporates his passion for the environment and rugby with “The Sharks” Rugby Team signature slogan tweeked slightly so to be applicable to Rhino- Black and White. It Really Does Matter. It also includes a quote Pat lives by – Wish it, Dream it, Do it. Pat added a personal touch to the rhino design with his hand imprinted over the horn to signify his protection of the species through this project. “I have grown up visiting Nature Reserves around the country, and my family and I have always been passionate about the conservation of wildlife,” says Lambie. “The butchering of rhino for their horn is something that makes me very angry and sad. It is a selfish and senseless act, especially considering that it’s based on a misconception that the horn has medicinal advantages,” he said.
Ray Phiri is a leading South African songwriter, musician, producer, and social justice activist and has received several accolades including a Grammy Award and the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver from President Jacob Zuma, for his contribution to the South African music industry and the successful use of arts as an instrument of social transformation. Ray has worked on various projects to promote the development of the arts in Southern Africa through the ‘Ray Phiri Arts Institute’ and is involved in various social re-engineering projects, which have seen him volunteering his time and counseling services to fight the scourge of HIV/AIDS. His rhino DESIGN includes his famous quote – “THIS IS YOUR STORY, MY STORY, OUR STORY…THE UNFINISHED STORY,” and the art of ‘storytelling’ is the creative thread that links the different designs on the rhino. “I have reached that special stage in my life where I am determined to leave a lasting legacy for both my fans and younger generations to come, I hope I can do this through the Rhino Parade,” said Phiri.
Chad Le Clos needs no introduction, having won a gold medal in a memorable race against his idol, Michael Phelps, in the 200m butterfly at the 2012 Olympics in London. The young South African swimming star, believes we need to protect our country’s heritage. This is reflected on the DESIGN of his Rhino which reflects the colours of the South African flag. The stop watch used to time swimmers & gold Olympic rings – are symbols reflected to depict his swimming career. The artwork also includes Chad’s favourite quote – “Whatever the circumstances never give up.”
“I find poaching shocking and any cruelty to animals in fact; the current rhino poaching crisis is really bad, and we need to do whatever we can to help right now. I think the people in this country are amazing, except the poachers,” said Chad.
Yenza isiZulu for the phrase “just do it”, was commissioned by the eThekwini Community Foundation (eCF). ECF are responsible for the creation and inspiration of Yenza. Artists working with recycled waste, who are deeply engaged in uplifting the skills of community-based crafters and who are absolutely passionate about saving our rhino, worked with local craft collectives to put on the Rhino’s finery. The rhino has become iconic and represents one diminishing species among many. Yenza is about social cohesion in practice.
Nkanyezi is isiZulu for “Shining Star”. This rhino sculpture is second in the series of commissioned decorated public art rhinos, done in collaboration with the US Consulate. Nkanyezi is not only an ambassador in the fight for the preservation of the rhino, but also personifies empowerment for community crafters. The DESIGN of this rhino shows two flanks which reference the colours of the South African and US flags, as testament to the partnership between nations that is required to win this anti-poaching fight.
Isibindi was inspired by the courage of field rangers who risk their lives every day to save rhino from extinction and ultimately stand between the bullets and these beautiful creatures. The rhino was designed and decorated by a talented team of visual arts learners from Russell High School in Pietermaritzburg, under the guidance of their visual arts educator, Alana Leigh. This sculpture is a way of honouring field rangers and conservationists, as well as spreading awareness around the poaching crisis, both locally and internationally. The DESIGN concept is based around the idea of a “war elephant” covered in armour. “The rhino is fighting for its survival and so we thought the rhino needed something to protect it,” said Russell High learner Nomfundo Mkhwanazi. Isibindi’s “armour” which symbolizes an animal warrior, is crafted from pieces of aluminium cans, beads, dried tea bags and broken glass. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” said Alana Leigh. The beaded medallions featured on Isibindi are creative interpretations based on various awards for courage and bravery.
This unique rhino sculpture involved months of dedication by this passionate team of girls – Nomfundo Mkhwanazi, Noxolo Makhathini, Sanele Mbanjwa, Peaceful Khumalo, Yamkela Madibi, Nonjabulo Khumalo, Malwande Guliwe, Nonjabulo Shezi, Sphumelele Hadebe, Malwande Bhengu, Ashley Voges and Nonkululeko Khumalo.
The Player Foundation Rhino reflects the values that both Gary and his brother, Dr. Ian Player stand by with such passion and determination. The colours of the rhino were chosen based on the Gary Player – Black Knight brand. Featured images include the iconic shot of Gary Player from the 1965 US Open, where he captured golf’s holy grail, the Grand Slam. The children highlight ‘The Player Foundation’ which focuses on the underprivileged and gives them the opportunity to have a brighter future, something that has always inspired the Player family. The other side of the rhino focuses on Dr. Ian Player, one of the world’s most outstanding conservationists and environmental statesmen, who pioneered the efforts of saving the White Rhino from extinction. A truly beautiful and one of a kind art of piece inspired by two absolute legends in their own right. Thank you to Ernest van der Merwe for this design.
Sibusiso Vilane – mountaineer, expedition guide and motivational speaker, has added his voice in the rhino poaching crisis. In 2005 Vilane became the first black person to summit Mount Everest from both sides. He then embarked on the Seven Summits Quest, which involves climbing the highest mountain on each continent, and was also the first black person to achieve this. Since his first ascent of Kilimanjaro in 1999, Sibusiso has summited that mountain 14 times, twelve of which have been guiding trips. “The Rhino poaching in our country is devastating; we must all come together, unite and fight to save our precious animals. If we work together to fight this challenge, then we can indeed save the Rhino for our future generations,” said Vilane. His rhino DESIGN incorporates the mountains he has climbed through his life journey. The climbing rope made into traditional-type jewelry on the rhino horn, symbolises the protection of the horn, as it protects mountaineers, like Sibusiso, from falling on treacherous mountains. Sibusiso also appears on the sculpture with open arms and a broad smile which tell you that he is a giver and wants the best for all who surround him. Vilane’s rhino sculpture also features a quote by Zig Zigler, that he is inspired by–“You can have everything in life you want if you can help as many people as possible to get what they want.”