- A young man went from being a street kid to creating powerful art work
- His recent piece sees him collaborating with a former surfing champion for a charity auction
- The artist turned his life around and now produces pieces for top galleries
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Blessing Ngobeni's life has never been easy. He fled his home after being physically abused as a toddler. He lived in the bushes like an animal for years before landing in Johannesburg at age 10. A series of wrong choices saw him end up in jail by 15. Through hard work and discipline, Blessing was able to end the cycle. Today, he is a gifted artist who recently collaborated with a former surfing champion to create a beautiful masterpiece.
The joint venture between former world surfing champion Shaun Tomson and former township street kid-turned-artist Blessing Ngobeni has produced a never-before-seen surfboard that will be auctioned for charity.
The auction will take place at the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival on Wednesday 27 November in Cape Town. On the surfboard, Blessing created a dramatic piece of art which is an interpretation of Tomson’s statement that the ocean connects us all.
Blessing has risen above a difficult childhood to get where he is now. He lived under a bridge for five years before being arrested for armed robbery at age 15. During his time in jail, he developed a skill for art and even made money creating art pieces.
A few days after leaving prison, he linked up with Ricky Bopape, who was hosting an exhibition for the Taxi Art Organisation in the Carlton Centre, Johannesburg. He studied at Newtown’s Artist Proof Studio and worked for David Krut Publishing at the Johannesburg Art Gallery. The Daily Maverick described Blessing Ngobeni as “producing award-winning work"
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Today, the young man continues to make waves in the South African art world.
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