"The Rainbow man"
Solly Radali's story is one of faith, determination and creativity.
13 years ago, he moved from Venda leaving his wife and child to make his fortune in Johannesburg - Working as a gardener for a while he found that he was not earning enough. He took to collecting to scrap metal from the streets and building sites. He would get 4- 15 Rand for a day's findings and was indeed "suffering" to feed himself, let alone his family. He was chased and harassed by local residents as he was seen as a nuisance. One day he decided to change his approach.
He built a new trolley to carry his findings and decorated it as an artwork. "Making it nice" seemed to completely change peoples attitude towards him. Residents would wave, speak to him, give him money, food and clothes, whereas before he was told to "voetsek !". He has been asked by many people for photographs, and is known as "The Rainbow man". For 3 years now he has been wandering the streets of Houghten pushing his trolley, still collecting waste and bits and pieces. Now, he rents a small room, saves his donations, spends wisely, has a well kept secret place next to the M1 highway where he cooks his potatoes and onions and keeps his materials. He says he has made more money this way and sends it back to his family.
He now has to lock his trolley up at night for he had his last one stolen. 4 art trolleys later his last creation is a myriad of CDs that reflect the sunlight making a chorus of rainbows and an amazing sight for anyone driving past. Literally a beacon of light. This is how I found him, gave him a donation and asked to hear his story, which he tells with much pride.
Lets make everything "NICE"!