SHOUT has joined forces with well-known visual artist John Adams to further its mission to develop libraries in the poorest communities of our country. SHOUT initiated this project to raise the much-needed funds to build libraries in primary schools across South Africa. To date 10 libraries have been installed around SA.
Through this unique collaboration, three inspiring sculptures were created by John Adams, of Nelson Mandela, using the most common pen used in most schools, the yellow BIC pen with blue cap. The pen is relatable to every child and it speaks to the values of literacy, numeracy and education.
“The idea of creating these unique sculptures is to raise awareness of how important education can be in making a difference in the fight against crime and violence. High levels of illiteracy are sadly a reality in many communities in South Africa,” explained Gavin Koppel, Chairman of SHOUT.
The project of creating the three sculptures took 5 months, approximately 60 000 to 70 000 BIC® Pens and six and half litres of superglue. The first sculpture is a statue of Mandela and depicts his very popular stance. An upright silhouette of Mandela with his one hand in the air, saluting the nation. The second sculpture is a portrait of Mandela’s face, which has become iconic all over the world and the third sculpture is a pen box, with the words inscribed on the front – “Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world.” Each sculpture depicts Mandela’s legacy and ideological mission of installing the importance of education in the South African nation.
SHOUT’s focus is simple: increase literacy and empower children with the tools they need to learn and succeed. By reaching young kids and encouraging them to work hard at getting educated, they will be better equipped to live a successful and purposeful adult life.
The Madiba pen sculptures will be utilised to create awareness and raise funds to continue building libraries across primary schools in the poorest of the poor communities. SHOUT has already got the ball rolling and has already raised R7 million which has been utilised to build ten libraries.
“As 2018 marked a major milestone in the incredible story of Nelson Mandela – his centenary year, it is our mission to continue Mandela’s mission in 2019 and beyond to ensure that his legacy continues through all of us” concluded Koppel.