Pilato Bulala inspires all who meet him! One of the talented artists from Limpopo, South Africa –  whom I had the good fortune of being introduced to at least 5 years ago. I have had the pleasure of introducing many of our Alexandra’s Africa guests to him on many occasions since. Everyone loves his work, his passion and listening to him tell the story of the inspiration for each of his pieces!

Here is the story of Pilato Bulala…  in words, pictures and film….

Pilato coined the word ‘scrapture’ and is now building up his own small, rural gallery…

Pilato Bulala talking to Alexandra's Africa guests about his artwork

Pilato Bulala Scrap Metal Artist talking to Alexandra’s Africa guests

Pilato finished school in 2017. He has since coined the word “scraptures” meaning – sculptures from scrap metal – and has started to build his own house and rural gallery in the village of Tshivuyuni, near Elim in Northern Limpopo – which is where we visit him.

Despite his limited access to the basics many of us take for granted: water, electricity, tools – Pilato continues to create his inspired art and to attract local and international interest in his work.

Pilato demonstrates to Alexandra's Africa guests how he makes his earrings from scrap metal

Pilato Bulala demonstrates to Alexandra’s Africa guests how he makes his earrings from scrap metal

Alongside his small thatched hut, he displays his ‘scraptures’ of birds, fishes, animals, and of rural women and men. His scraptures tell stories of traditional life and modern problems and capture life in South Africa, like his recent ‘Winnie Mandela protesting against carrying a pass’ piece. His striking Hector Peterson-piece depicting the turning point for the Apartheid-era in South Africa, is a favourite among his Facebook friends and Instagram followers. Everybody likes his funky tin earrings and necklaces made from recycled beer cans.

A family member of one of guests models a pair of Pilato's earrings

One of our guests modelling a lovely pair of Pilato’s earrings

Pilato started off having no power tools or electricity. Every detail of his scraptures has come from working with scrap zinc and wire – mainly after school hours until he finished school in 2017.  His mother Agnes, a beautiful, strong rural woman with a big, warm heart, is his rock and most ardent supporter. She still decorates the traditional mud-floors of his hut with natural oxides and cow dung and she grows the mealies and pumpkins that are in his garden!

The culture centre ‘Madi a Thavha’ has been supporting this determined and gifted young man with training and marketing ever since 2014. He has been to several of Madi a Thavha’s exhibitions and workshops where he learned to weld, how to make tin jewellery and got some exposure to national and international craft-markets. He has recently been to a couple of trade and tourist shows in Johannesburg too.

We visit Pilato to view his scraptures on all our Safari tours.

Here are some more examples of his inspired scraptures:

Golf Player Scrapture by Pilato Bulala

Golf Player Scrapture by Pilato Bulala


Nelson Mandela Scrapture by Pilato Bulala

Nelson Mandela Scrapture by Pilato Bulala


African Farmer Scrapture by Pilato Bulala

African Farmer Scrapture by Pilato Bulala


Hunting Bushman Scrapture by Pilato Bulala

Hunting Bushman Scrapture by Pilato Bulala


For more on this remarkable young man please visit his facebook or Instagram pages: @pilatobulala  or there is more on this website:  https://madiathavha.com/artist/pilato-bulala

To end – two short films from our recent visits to Pilato with guests!

Pilato on Making Earrings:


Pilato on ScrapArt and Inspiration:

If this blog has raised any questions for you or if you would like to know more – please do contact us.


Stay Well,

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Alexandra’s Africa is an independent, niche Safari Tour Operator based in the New Forest in Hampshire, UK  offering a range of small-group hosted Safaris and Retreats. For information or to contact:  W: alexandrasafrica.com or T: +44 (0)2380 861278 or E: alexandra@alexandrasafrica.com.

For more information about the artists & musicians of Limpopo contact us here: 👉 alexandrasafrica.com/contact

Or Contact Love Limpopo here: 👉 Lovelimpopo.com

Or Contact Madi a Thavha Cultural Centre here: 👉 Madi a Thavha