CAPE ARTIST BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO USED COFFEE CAPSULES

The Table Bay’s mascot, Oscar, is now immortalised in aluminum

Millions of coffee capsules are used around the world every day as coffee lovers, including guests at The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, get their caffeine fix.

When Joanne Selby, the hotel’s general manager, learned about sculpture artist Godfrey Dambuleni creating beautiful works made from used Nespresso capsules, she commissioned the artist to make a version of Oscar the Seal, The Table Bay’s mascot, using spent capsules from the hotel. The story of Oscar and his friendship with a lonely fisherman is the stuff of legends and is closely intertwined with the history of The Table Bay Hotel. 

Oscar the Cape fur seal and the fisherman would meet every day on the pier close to where the hotel now stands. After the fisherman’s death, Oscar continued to visit the building contractors and the hotel launch team while the building was under construction and became revered as the guardian of the Table Bay Hotel. To this day his pups catch some sun on the pier and provide a delightful photo opportunity for tourists.

Godfrey Dambuleni, a Zimbabwean who has lived in South Africa for the past 23 years, runs a studio in Salt River, employing a team of seven, who help him prepare the raw materials including recycled tins and sheet metal, bicycle chains and used aluminum coffee capsules, with which he creates beautiful and distinctive artwork, including sculptures and trophy heads of African animals.

“I have been using Nespresso capsules for almost five years, making elephants, rhinos, human beings and more,” said Mr Dambuleni. “Oscar was the first seal I had ever made and it took me about three weeks to make,” the artist said of the 1.5-metre-high statue, made from 3 000 capsules.

“The aluminum coffee capsules are a very useful material; being soft and malleable, they can be used in many ways. Before I can use them, my team cleans the coffee grounds out and flattens them to make small sheets of metal.” Dambuleni and his workers use the coffee grounds as fertiliser to grow vegetables, further extending the chain of the circular economy.

Did you know that nearly 75 percent of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today?

First produced close to 200 years ago, aluminium is still one of the most innovative metals in use today. It is 100 per cent recyclable and highly durable, retaining its properties indefinitely; nearly 75 per cent of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today. Aluminium is one of the only materials in the consumer disposal stream that more than pays for the cost of its own collection.

The Table Bay Hotel is at the forefront of green consciousness and the perfect hotel for the eco-savvy traveller.  The hotel takes sustainable awareness very seriously, recycling plastic, cardboard, aluminum and glass. https://www.suninternational.com/table-bay  @TheTableBayHotel

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