- 32-year-old Hendrick Sithole is a man of many talents who unfortunately grew up in poverty
- Hendrick may not have been able to study engineering but he made sure to teach himself the ropes
- Hendrick makes amazing replicas of vehicles, helicopters and even fully-functioning trains
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Hendrick Chebanga Sithole has been making waves all over the country for his amazing works of art. The 32-year-old spoke to Briefly.co.za about his childhood and what inspired him to start building things.
Hendrick was born in Zimbabwe and began making art, drawing and building various things using wire and scrap metal at the tender age of four. He managed to finish secondary school but due to his poverty-stricken background, he was unable to study further.
His dream was to study engineering but could not due to financial constraints. In 2006 he moved to South Africa and his passion for design was still blooming. Hendrick said he started to make and design small car models and other décor for Saffas that supported his craft. However, he was still struggling financially.
In 2011, Hendrick moved to Hammanskraal in Gauteng. He started his own store and had a lot of support from the community. He said:
"They supported me and boosted me with nicknames like 'Minister of Art'. I felt like someone special to them. In 2014 I decided to take on my first big project of building a police van using plastic and rubber. I took it to the nearest highway to display.
"This is where I saw that people loved my work. The motorists were very supportive, many bought me food and gave me money. They called the money 'chocho' ,which means bribe money taken by the police."
Hendrick said that he continued to display the police van until one day a former police officer purchased the vehicle to remind him of his job. He started a Facebook page shortly after and his work is becoming internationally-recognised.
Hendrick said he was affected badly by the global pandemic but he made the most out of his time.
"When President Ramaphosa declared lockdown I told myself its time for me to shine now. I decided to build a fully functioning life-sized helicopter in the first three months of the lockdown The day I completed it, I was ready to test it."
Due to not having a licence or registering the helicopter, he was asked by law enforcement to not test it or use it. The helicopter was then purchased and Hendrick used the money to start his next venture, building a train.
"I continued my lockdown by being busy again this time I was building a train that I used to transport schoolkids to the nearest school. I did this for two weeks, a guy was willing to buy the train to entertain kids and take them to their homes safely."
Click here to watch the train in use.
Hendrick says he is currently not working on anything big but wants to surprise his fans before December. Speaking about his very large shoes, Hendrick said he enjoys entertaining his fans.
"I made myself a pair of 1-metre shoes that I call my Covid-19 shoes to maintain social distance and my fans always ask me to put them on when I am posing for a photo."
Briefly.co.za previously reported on Hendrick when a picture of him working on his miniature truck went viral but for all the wrong reasons. In the picture, Hendrick can be seen working on a pretty impressive miniature version of a truck.
While the truck was exceptionally made, unfortunately people took no notice of it as the bizarre shoes stole the limelight. In the post, parody account @AdvoBarryRoux challenges his followers to pay attention only to the truck.
Judging by the 359 comments, tweeps were failing miserably. Instead, they made all sorts of comments about the eccentric shoes while laughing their butts off. @Lethu_Jali said:
"I'll pretend as if I did not see those shoes."
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