Part of Nego's impression of Tshilidzini Hospital's main entrance gate. Image supplied.
When Mulalo “Nego” Negondeni created a virtual impression of the Tshilidzini Hospital and shared the images on Facebook, it went viral on many social-media platforms. Some users who re-posted the images falsely claimed that these were pictures of the actual new entrance to the hospital.
What most people do agree on, is that these images of Negondeni are beautiful.
Nego acquired a name for himself as an artist after he built a miniature-sized model of his own “Nego City” in his backyard some years ago. The model included, among others, a shopping centre, stadium and skyscrapers. His latest artwork includes a virtual impression of the entrance gate at Tshilidzini Hospital.
“I designed it because of my love for my hometown,” he said. “Firstly, I really want to see a better development in my hometown. I want to see Thohoyandou town transform from a town to a city. But how do we achieve that when the local main hospital is still in shambles?”
He said that Tshilidzini Hospital was not in good condition at the moment. “A few weeks ago, people posted pictures of the current main gate at the hospital on social media, complaining about the deteriorating look and lack of maintenance at the hospital,” he said. “Somebody mentioned me on the Facebook post and asked me to design a new entrance gate. Well, I laughed and said okay, I’m on it.”
He said that he regarded this request as confirmation that people in Vhembe shared this desire for better infrastructural development.
“I took my time and came up with a traditional African-modern design. Tshilidzini Hospital really needs renovation because it is a place for people who have lost hope of living. Beautiful and clean housing, including the main gate entrance, might just help the sick heal faster,” he said. “People responded positively to my design. I hope that the Department of Health will involve me in any future architectural designs of the hospital, so that we get to develop a better structure.”
Nego, who resides at Mukula village in the Thulamela area, fell in love with art when he was a boy. “I didn’t really understand it then; I only knew then that I was good at making things with my hands,” he said. “My biggest initial achievement was when I created Nego City in 2008, which brought many TV crews, radio stations and newspapers who wanted to write about my artwork to my doorstep.”
Nego can be followed on Facebook (NegoCity Retro Vibe) or reached on Tel 081 256 8610.
Date:11 December 2021 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.