ONDANGWA - While most people see discarded materials as garbage, 31-year old Kamati Eliaser sees it as a consignment of art supplies which puts bread on the table.
Born and raised in Okapya village in the northern part of the country, Eliaser is a self-employed artist who makes vintage miniature cars out of waste materials and matchsticks, for a living.
Talking to Entertainment Now! Eliaser says he makes the unique cars by wiring and putting together old discarded material such as pot handles, spray cans, pot lids, old radios and essentially everything else he can find in his environment.
Showing off one of his cars that he has made, Eliaser used an old toothbrush to make it look like a dashboard, he also used wood glue and matchsticks to create an exterior of the car.
Eliaser said his art is heavily influenced by environmental awareness, particularly the desire to keep usable materials out of the landfill.
“We need to reduce our waste stream, instead of throwing away the bottles or cans you used, you can send them to recycling companies or give them to artists like me who can make the most of them,” he stated.
His cars are uniquely made with a vintage design, which also gives them a well-crafted artistic look.
“My target market are mostly tourists, art lovers and parents with children but I have little exposure since I stay in the village and there are times when materials become scares which becomes hard for me to manufacture more cars,” explained the dedicated artist, adding that he is unemployed at the moment, hence he cannot afford necessities such as wood glue and matches.
He further added that he makes multipurpose cars, which can be used for either decorations or toys for children.
Although Eliaser knew he is talented at craftworks, he only pursued his artistic dream last year when his attempt to find a job was unsuccessful.
If he is not busy making his toy cars, then he is walking in the streets of Ondangwa looking for broken and waste materials to go craft his work.
To make ends meet, Eliaser also does small peace jobs here and there in the village to help his family.
If you need an African quaint look in your house or office, Eliaser can create that with his hand made cars.
He is pleading to the nation to help his business becomes a success.
According to him, he needs finance to market his artwork in other places where he can get more customers.
“I believe one day I will own a shop where I can sell my products and for more people to have access to my work,” he proudly said.