Unilever South Africa unveils Isibindi

Monday, 13 October 2014 –As part of its contribution towards the Wildlands Conversation Trust, Unilever South Africa unveiled Isibindi, a rhino sculpture, at its La Lucia head office on Friday.

“Isibindi” a Zulu name which means “courage,” was inspired by the courage of field rangers who risk their lives daily to save the rhino from extinction. This sculpture forms part of the Wildlands Rhino Parade campaign, an innovative fundraising drive based on the internationally renowned Cow Parade concept.

The initiative seeks to raise funds for, and increase awareness around the war on rhino poaching by getting South Africans to adopt and help design a three quarter life size black rhino sculpture.

Peter Cowan, Chairman of Unilever South Africa said: “Unilever South Africa has a long-standing relationship with Wildlands and through this contribution we ensure the future of conservation and socio-economic development working together to create a brighter future for all South Africans.

“Over and above this, the introduction of this sculpture into our head office building is a way for us to spread awareness on the poaching crisis and the dire need for social development in our country,” said Cowan. Isibindi was designed and decorated by a talented team of visual arts learners from Russell High School in Pietermaritzburg, under the guidance of their educator, Alana Leigh.

The creation of Isibindi involved months of dedication by this passionate team of girls. . They worked tirelessly after school, over weekends and during school holidays to produce this magnificent masterpiece. Crafted from pieces of aluminium cans, beads, dried tea bags and broken glass, the design concept is based around the idea of a “war elephant” covered in armour.

There are numerous symbols on Isibindi that make creative reference to a number of awards including the Golden Leopard – awarded by the South African Defence Force for exceptional bravery. The Order of Mendi – awarded to South Africa citizens for extraordinary acts of bravery. The laurel wreath, the star and the cross which are symbols that appear in many military awards for courage. 

The large beaded mandalas on Isibindi’s side consist of Zulu shields and spears and refer to brave Zulu warriors; and the necklace around Isibindi’s neck refers to the necklace of thorns that King Shaka presented to his warriors who had displayed great courage in battle.

As of the end of September 2014, 747 Rhino have been poached in South Africa.

“We cannot win the anti-poaching fight alone,” said Wildlands CEO Dr Andrew Venter. “The support of donors such as Unilever means that we can inject much needed funds into our tracker, aerial support and investigations projects and truly make a tangible difference,” concluded Dr Venter.

Isibindi can be viewed at the Unilever offices in La Lucia Ridge.

Unilever South Africa - Unathi Mgobozi External Affairs Manager

+27 31 570 3000
031 570 2470

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