TALENTED: Abram Mampane makes wood carvings of political figures which are snapped up by locals to decorate their homes. Picture: France Nyaka
Herding cattle at the nearby river and using clay to create animals, vehicles and other things, eventually contributed to Abram Mampane, 66, of Belfast village near KwaMhlanga becoming a wood carver.
“I became interested in the work while I was a cattle herder decades ago. At the time I used clay to create various things, just to kill time,” Mampane said.
He was inspired to change from clay to woodwork after he visited and watched a friend who worked with wood to create art items in a nearby village in 1998.
Mampane the tried his hand in carving, starting with busts of politicians like former president Nelson Mandela, justice and constitutional minister Jeff Radebe, President Jacob Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.
“I could see that this was my lifelong profession when many people from our village visited me and started buying my stuff for decorating their homes,” Mampane said.
The prices for his creations range from R200 to R500 a piece.
He used to sell the products at pension paypoints and his greatest wish is to sell his art to the politicians and tourists.
“I am proud to make the busts to put bread on the table since I cannot be employed due to my age.”