Voice for the environment

Ndalema extraordinary scrap metal art

GIFTED— Ndalema stands beside one of his works

Samuel Ndalema has such an extra-ordinary talent that has seen him rising to create different artworks using scrap metal.

His story has been told and told but he continues to show the world that he is not done yet.

While many take scrap metal for nothing and some throw it anyhow, Ndalema smiles with all this; for he knows he would create new things from it.


He has created a number of things using scrap metals, some of which are standing in places in the country.

While using scrap metal to create works has exposed his unique talent, Ndalema is also playing a vital role in fighting for a clean environment.

He said that people take little interest in protecting the environment, which also needs love from human beings.


“As people, we need to learn to protect the environment. There are things we can use and recycle and not throw around anyhow to avoid harming the environment,” Ndalema said.

It is in this vein that he has been creating artworks of wild animals just to show that these animals need a better environment.

He recently created a buffalo using scraps from a car, bicycle and motorbike parts.

Ndalema used close to 100 scrap parts to have the buffalo stand perfectly.

The visual artist, who was recently part of an exhibition titled The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind spearheaded by fellow creatives Charles Levison and Madalitso Ziwaoh, made a windmill using scrap metal in celebrating the works of innovator William Kamkwamba.

His recent work has seen him creating an elephant.

“This was also a customer’s order after she had seen what I do. A lot of people have been contacting me to have me create artworks for them. By the way, the elephant is an order from Mrs Gertrude Kabwazi, who is opening a garden in Mpemba, Blantyre,” he said.

Ndalema does not only concentrate on wildlife artworks but also looks at things in different disciplines.

“I have had people ask me to create musical instruments for them using scrap metal for their spaces. For me this is God -given talent. Of course I have had to learn through observation some of the basics but a huge part of it is God -given talent,” he said.

Trading with his Tehilla Metal Art, Ndalema, who is based at Sigelege in Chilomoni, said he has more room for improvement and that people who come to buy artworks from him have always motivated him to create new concepts.

“These are my own concepts and I continue to improve on them every time. For instance, the map of Africa I created at one point; I had no idea of making it until a certain person ordered it,” Ndalema said.

He said he told the person that he was not ready to create it because it required a lot of materials before he gave himself a challenge.

The map of Africa was for Jacaranda School for Orphans at Chigumula in Blantyre, which students have been using for their classes.

During Africa Day in May this year, Jacaranda School for Orphans founder Marie Da Silva reminded primary school leaners of the day and then asked them for a photograph to celebrate the day.

“And 12-year-old Miriam said we should take it in front of our map of Africa. Great idea I thought. This is a map made from recycled scrap metal by Samuel Ndalema and it hangs on a wall at our secondary school,” wrote Da Silva.

This is how far people have gone to appreciate the works of Ndalema and that his concepts always have a story to them. Stories for the environment, stories for education and stories for various disciplines aimed at building the country.

His latest creation, the elephant, has seen people give him lots of praise on social media.

Ndalema described the work as having 100 percent recycled materials.

“Let us stop the killing of innocent elephants. We can survive without the tusks but elephants cannot survive without them. Elephants need their tusks,” the artist wrote.

His moto comment on the piece was: “A walk of a giant. New Elie made from metal scraps. Save trees, let’s take care of the environment, recycle and support local artists”.

And on August 12, which is World Elephant Day, an international annual event dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants, some people including journalists and artists came out to appreciate Ndalema’s work.

“Your work is invaluable,” wrote Lomuthi Mgomezulu.

Art Malawi appreciated Ndalema’s work recently when he joined the Mudi River Clean Up project, all for the good of the environment.

“The Ellie has been produced from waste metal that Samuel collects, and has used to produce this beautiful piece of artwork,” Art Malawi said.

Ndalema is here to tell stories with scrap metal art and he will continue to do so as part of changing people’s mindset.

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