How this project came about (story supplied by Jacob):

I am Jake (Jacob) Daurham a 22 year old Artist from Arizona, US.

I’ve been drawing my whole life, painting for the past 8 years and it’s my main source of income.
My art career picked up after I lost my brother in May of 2015. He was the other family artist and tattoo artist, so I instantly lost my partner in my craft. I inherited his equipment, picked up tattooing and took my profession in art 10 times more seriously. Following up with every client, networking and building up a bigger rep.

The next tidal wave was losing my aunt in may of 2016. She was like a mother to me and had always told me that she believed in me and that I’d do big things one day. Immediately after that, I again took my work another 10 times seriously. I cut out the unproductive habits, dropped the distractions and focused on my art, business and my mental growth.

Today, I perform live painting every month at an event called ‘First Friday’ where 1,000 or so people watch, walk past and hire me for work. I’m currently on an off season, but I teach a painting class for children so they can learn to express themselves in acrylic paint and learn the value of being creative. I host a paint and wine class as well for adults to come and paint step by step with me. And lastly, I own a tattoo shop ‘Earthbound Tattoos’ and have 2 apprentices. I opened in October 2016, and currently am building it up.

During my paint and wine class, I luckily had a volunteering agent present who has a trip to South Africa in a few months. After the class, she contacted me about coming with to volunteer, teach the children a class on art and painting a mural. Coming to Africa to volunteer was a dream of mine since 2010, so the fact I can do 2 of my favorite things (paint and teach) as well as help, I had to make the trip.
After barely fundraising the money in time, thanks to many many family and friends. I hopped on a flight out there.
Arriving at the Projekt Ubuntu volunteering house, I was blessed to meet and live with some of the sweetest people on the trip. Candi, Sidney and Nyameka ran the volunteering. After spending a week to really submerge my mind in the culture, get to know the people, talk about the history, politics and social norm, I finally developed my message for my mural. Candi and Nyameka talked with me and we made the plans and set the balls in motion.

Fortunately finding the coolest little paint shop, I encountered very helpful people, and the even sweeter Manager and friend Debbie 💙.
Now I’m not just saying this to suck up, I actually like your paints for painting. They blend really well with the right surface and brushes and not common from what I’ve experienced with a lot of paints for walls.

So fast forwarding, my main message I wanted to demonstrate for the people and children of Masi was “regardless of your situation, ANYONE can come up, experience growth and make incredible change in the world.”

Aimed towards the people of South Africa, by including table mountain and the big 5 as spiritual supporters of having pride from where you came from.

There’s Xhosa influence by including similar Xhosa design patterns and the intonjane / ukwaluka transitional ceremony, due to Masiphumelele having a majority Xhosa population. However in a whole, the painting is to be taken and as a symbolic representation of South African Pride, giving hope and guidance to the lost, reaffirming the dreamers to never give up and to remind many of Mandela’s love and all he stood for.

My trip to South Africa was breathtaking and unforgettable, and I owe it all to the people South Africa, the 0 Ubuntu project, Masiphumelele and my fellow volunteers. Their love, open arms, sense of community and pure intent gave me an experience I’ll never forget. Now I only count the days until I can come back.

Written by Paintsmiths