World Oceans Day (8 June) was commemorated by the inaugural Ocean Festival on the KZN South Coast from 8 to 11 June. Forming part of the Ocean Festival programme was an ocean-themed mural crafted by renowned local artist, Giffy Duminy – with empowering partner Apex Environmental – which has brightened up the bridge to Premier Resort Cutty Sark in Scottburgh, the location for the festival.
Commenting on the mural, Giffy said: “I have been very inspired by the many good people in KZN conservation for what they do to protect our local environment from modern threats. The Ocean Festival is a really great initiative that celebrates the ocean over World Oceans Day, it serves to remind us why it’s important to connect with the ocean to save it. This mural features some of my favourite marine life and celebrates the shallow reefs close to Scottburgh, inspired by the Marine Protected Area of Aliwal Shoal where I have been lucky to enjoy some incredible dives. We have such incredible biodiversity in our part of the world, and it is most definitely worth celebrating. I hope my mural sparks some fascination and questions about our beautiful ocean – the lungs of the planet and a source for so many.”
The mural, which was arranged and overseen by the Ocean Festival organisers, has not only beautified the area, but emphasises the long-term impact of the Ocean Festival which is centred on the concept: ‘Be the change you want to be.’ Visitors to this year’s Ocean Festival got the chance to catch Giffy complete the mural, as well as engage in several great activities. These included the Halfway Toyota Beach Clean-up, Mahlongwa River Clean-up, Ocean Festival conservation talks, mountain bike ride, the Cutty Sark Pro presented by SMTH Shapes surf contest, the Leatherback Surfski Challenge, and Live Music featuring Qadasi & Maqhinga. Visit @theoceanfestival on Instagram and Facebook, and www.oceanfestival.co.za for more information.