South African street artist Falko and his elephants bring walls to life.

Buzzing with activity and covered in art, the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy brought Mamelodi and Tsweu Street to life in just 10 days.

The local musicians, dancers and artists reminded us why Mamelodi is one of South Africa’s cultural riches, while the herd of elephant murals scattered around the community will forever remind the locals of those incredible 10 days.

Elephants generally represent strength, honour and stability and for street artist Falko, who painted these free murals, they also have the power to bring people happiness.

Although he can’t reveal exactly what they mean to him, because a magician never reveals his secrets, he knows the reaction elephants generally invoke in most people, which is why he paints them.

He revealed, “People love elephants and the great reaction from them is expected because the elephant is a universally adored animal by all races and age groups.”

For Falko, the one thing that stood out for him about this community, was how chilled and generally passive the people were.

He added, “People in Mamelodi go about doing their own business, which I liked. Telling people that their specific shacks or businesses had been selected made them feel special.”

The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy is a launch pad for grassroots social entrepreneurs who are making a positive difference in their community: to give them the inspiration, mentorship, practical skills and tools they need to take themselves and their projects to the next level.

If there is one thing that will always be remembered about this year’s Amaphiko Academy, it’s the creativity of the locals in Mamelodi.

Their ability to break out in song while sitting under a tree or dance to a random tune playing in a taxi that’s passing by.

The honour of seeing a community come together and showcase what it has always been known for, albeit somewhat forgotten, will forever remain with everyone who experienced the Academy.

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