Metal Madiba reminds Pietermaritzburg residents to wear masks

Sipho Shabangi places a mask on an artwork of former late president Nelson Mandela at Global Scrap Metal, outside Pietermaritzburg
Sipho Shabangi places a mask on an artwork of former late president Nelson Mandela at Global Scrap Metal, outside Pietermaritzburg
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

A giant metal sculpture of late former statesman Nelson Mandela's face is sporting a giant mask to encourage residents of greater Pietermaritzburg to protect themselves against Covid-19.

The three-metre high artwork is being displayed at Global Scrap Metal in Mkhodeni, an industrial area outside Pietermarizburg.

Global Scrap Metal commissioned an employee and artist, Minenhle Nxele, to make the 3D sculpture of Mandela's face in 2018.

Nxele took three months to make the artwork out of about 12,000 scrap metal pipes.

Director Yugan Govender said the company wanted to create awareness among communities about the benefits of mask-wearing as Covid-19 infections continue to rise.

“People are quite fascinated with it and often stop to take selfies and post their pictures on social media.

“We just want to get a simple message out there, one that can save lives.

“Using the Mandela artwork is a good way to influence people to make a responsible choice,” said Govender.

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