Jake’s Sunday Post: Valuable


Jake’s Sunday Post theme this week, is “Valuable.” I see that many of you have shown us that your family are your most valuable assets, whilst others have said that a good education is the most valuable thing a person can have. Others have said that time is the most precious gift we are given. I agree wholeheartedly with all these sentiments.

A couple of days ago, I did a post about my sister’s grandson’s birthday party, and sent her the link. When I called her to ask if she’d looked at it, she informed me that she’d been busy since 8am that morning, and hadn’t had a chance to even look at her computer. Her day had started off with fetching a young teenage boy from one of the African townships several miles away, and taking him to her art teacher for a lesson.

Here’s how it came about. Some time ago, her husband happened to pop into a small art gallery on the KZN Midlands tourist route. He saw there a painting done by a young African boy, and decided to buy it.

The owner of the gallery, on learning that my sister was an artist, invited her to take some of her work to display there. She asked to meet the young artist, realising that he had considerable talent, and decided that she needed to do something to encourage and help him. After only six hours, over two mornings, this is what he painted. His two mentors had showed him different painting techniques, and how to mix colours.¬† He just ‘got it’. ;) Isn’t this wonderful?

The time and effort spent with him, helped him to improve on his valuable talent, and of course, now he’s seen what he can do, he is so enthused to carry on with his art. Life isn’t at all easy for Mxolisi Nxele living in a township near Dargle.

He is 17-years-old, and only in Grade 8 at school. Schooling here goes up to Grade 12, so he still has four years to go. He lives with his sister in very humble, overcrowded conditions, and was quite overwhelmed when he walked into my sister’s lovely spacious home. He was fascinated to see a computer for the very first time. Just imagine, a teenager who has no idea how to use a computer. Have you ever heard of such a thing these days? He goes to the local school, but obviously they have insufficient equipment to teach their pupils adequately. It’s so very sad, and we can only hope that our government will one day very soon, get its priorities right and realise that the children of today are our country’s future, and its most valuable asset.

When he left a couple of days later, to go back home, he said that he’d had such a happy time with my sister and her two grandsons. She is going to keep in touch with Mxolisi, and continue encouraging him with his art. As Anatole France, the French poet and author once said, “Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.” I’m sure that now his talent has been recognised and nurtured, with help, he’ll go on to greater things.

I’m now mulling over an idea in my head. To carry on painting, he obviously needs paints and canvasses, which don’t come cheap. He’s gone home with some, to tide him over, but I was wondering if I sent an article to a couple of our local newspapers, whether they might publish it. There may be some readers who have art materials lying unused in their homes, which they would be willing to donate. What do you think?

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88 comments on “Jake’s Sunday Post: Valuable

  1. Ooh may God bless your sister,for mentoring Mxolisi,our country needs people like her,he’s talented by looking at his first picture then the lion,love it!
    As our township schools is sad,the kids don’t have textbooks what about computers? Something is very wrong with our goverment,
    Thanx for sharing! :-)

    • She has a heart of gold, matron. I’m sure that this young man is going to do well in the future. I so agree with you about our incompetent, self-serving government. ;(

  2. A very inspiring post. He does have a gift and a talent to create something amazing but more moving is that your sister gave him the encouragement to follow his dream….and that is something we don’t see everyday. God bless you and your family for having generous hearts…

  3. A remarkable talent and ability to manipulate paint. I’m glad he’s getting a lot of encouragement.

  4. These are awesome paintings. I love the first one. Hope the newspaper people like your story. Those human interest pieces are always the most inspiring and enjoyable. Wish you luck with the editors and hope the artist awareness spreads.

    • Thanks so much for the good wishes, TG. I’ll put something together when I see my sister this weekend, and than send it off.Fingers crossed. ;)

  5. I think it’s a great idea and well done to your sister for making time to help him! We often forget how easy it is to make a difference in someone else’s life.

  6. His paintings are so vivid and true, what a gifted young man.
    I would shoot an email to your local editors, most are easy to find. Give a short bio on the kid and his painting along with some pics.
    Great stuff.

  7. Very inspiring post! What an amazing talent this young man has! With your writing ability I bet you could submit a story on him and who knows maybe he can find some way to earn a scholarship to attend advanced art courses. I agree it is sad not to invest in the future generation by providing adequate education to all children. We have the same issues here yet the government is trying to have “no child left behind” which has helped somewhat but not enough.

    • There are so many children such as Mxolisi, who really have no chance of a great education, due to their family circumstances and lack of good schools and teachers. It’s really heartbreaking to think of all the wasted potential in our country. I really hope that he can make it one day.

  8. I hope you get much publicity for this wonderful young man. And keep us updated too.

    • I hope something comes of my letters to the editors. I’ll send them a photo too. When they see his lovely smile. How could they resist?

  9. What a wonderful idea AD. I am sure the newspapers will be glad to help. This young boy’s talent is too good to ignore! I agree, our children are our most valuable asset, and are entitled to all the encouragement we can possibly give them.

  10. Great idea. Maybe he will get support for advanced art education in the future. You and your sister are doing a great thing for the young boy. Thank you for sharing the wonderful story!

  11. I cannot believe I found you on normal WP. I am here as stormsa10, but am struggling to find anybody as there does not seem to be a ‘search button’.

    • I’m so glad you did find me, stormie. I shall report your arrival to Roly (Sarchasm). He will broadcast your arrival to all the ex LD bloggers.

  12. What an amazing talent this young man has. I say go for it. I am so glad you and your sister has taken an interest in him. Our children are our future and most valuable asset.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

  13. Wow he really has got talent, how wonderful of your sister to spot it and encourage him. I am sure if people see what he is capable of producing donations of art materials will follow.

  14. God bless you Ad and your sister for being good to this young man. I think too that what you’re planning to do is a great idea…

  15. Great idea. He really deserves all the help he can get to nurture that talent.
    Hats off to the family for taking that amount of interest and effort. Admiration is so often not translated into any sort of action.

  16. he has talent, it would be great if you and your sister could get help to set up some sort of fund to keep him learning and painting

  17. Great idea, he has such a talent and it would be a shame for it to go to waste. Your idea is super and I hope that there will be a good response to encourage him.
    Regards,
    Gail

  18. I think that’s an amazingly wonderful idea…. I feel like we are losing valuable young minds here, too. We need more folks like you and your sister to encourage them to develop.

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