Khumo Sephetsolo who is also known as 1st Lady Mmatlakala uses everyday waste materials to turn them into beautiful decorations.
Unlike many artists, the lady uses her hands to turn ‘dirt’ into breathtaking aesthetic pieces.
Due to concerns about the slowly degrading quality of life caused by pollution and transition towards pro environment business models, Sephetsolo decided to uses litter to make money.
“I also want to show that environmental protection and awareness initiatives can ensure that instead of ending up at the bottom of a river, a bottle can end up on someone’s window seal as a vase. We recycle solid waste like bottles, fabric offcuts, used canned food containers, gallon drums, metal offcuts, pallets, bicycle wheels, old refrigerator, bottles caps, boards plastics and paper to make beautiful functional items and decorative ornaments and artefacts,” she revealed.
Sephetsolo established 1st-Lady creations in 2019. The artist brings extensive knowledge in art and design to turn waste into beauty through recycling, reducing and reusing. 1st-Lady Creations is a highly artistic recycling and up-cycling arts and crafts business catering to businesses and households alike. She explained that the highly artistic business sources raw materials from other businesses and establishments.
1st-Lady creations exclusively makes hand designed vases, candleholders and light covers from recycled bottles, duo-block holders, chimes, cutlery and pencil holders from food cans. It also make cushions, wall decorations, aprons with scrap fabric off cuts collected from tailors and old clothes.
“On our wall art we also use materials like used boards, old news papers, CD covers, sand, bottle caps to write words or make signs. We also use bicycles wheels to make chandeliers, holiday wreaths, wall clocks and cocktail tables. For our miscellaneous projects, we use old refrigerators and turn it into an outdoor cooler box or a display unit.
We also do what we call refrigerator make over, making an old fridge look new,” she proudly said.
However, she revealed that such products were made in limited quantities for a specific design to retain exclusivity for their customer and to make sure that the customer enjoys new uncommon products all the time.
Furthermore, she said that the public is really amazed by what they do adding that they see the uniqueness in what they do. This resulted in people growing more interest in unique, personalised hand crafted products.
She explained that she gets help from companies such as Dulux Botswana which supply her with some of their dry waste like gallon drums, plastics, old marketing materials, pallets and others. Stanbic Bank Incubation hub #Acceler8 mentored her on business management, marketing and also offered their working space with boardrooms and meeting rooms for free.