Octogenarian turns trash into gold

Deka PICS: LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
Deka PICS: LESEDI MKHUTSHWA

FRANCISTOWN: An 81-year-old Raphael Deka has since the pre-colonial era saw a niche in wheeled transport by turning used tyres into rubber mats to fend for his family.

Over the past 67 years, Deka has raised his 17 children through his artistic crafting business. The crafter has been providing for his family through selling rubber mats, metal collecting dustpans and flower containers, which are made from recycled objects. In an interview with Arts & Culture, Deka said he was born in Rhodesia, modern Zimbabwe during the pre-colonial era in which there was almost complete absence of wheeled transport and the people back then relied mostly on animals for transportation.

Just a year before his family relocated to the then Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1955, the octogenarian started teaching himself the art of crafting different objects. At the age of 14, he started turning used tyres into rubber mats. Deka said he then took one of the sample rubber mats in an attempt to sell it along the streets of Harare. “Surprisingly the rubber mat was purchased on my way to the selling point. The same man made orders for six more rubber mats the same day.

Editor's Comment
Urgent call: Stop the killing!

The previous week, we had an article about a police officer shooting his wife, and turning the gun on himself, whilst he died, his wife survived and is still in the hospital.Sadly that was not the only article we carried on intimate partner killings. There was the Francistown case, where a young woman allegedly stabbed her ‘former boyfriend’ and many others which were reported throughout the week.As all the reports were coming in, a Botswana...

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