Flamingo - Art, Craft & Culture - Peace on a string around your neck
“Imagine all the people living life in peace.”
Peace is a not only an ideology shared by tens of thousands, a utopian state of tranquillity and harmony, or as the souvenir shirt states, ‘a beautiful site to see’. Peace means life: its absence leaves no hope of human survival. And now we have our own Namibian ‘peace conveyer’, Ricky /Khaxab, who transformed the dream of peace into a concept that can be worn around your neck.
Ricky’s collection of semi-precious stones, beautifully crafted between twirls of silver wire, wasn’t labelled The Peace Collection for nothing. “We already have so much war and unrest in the world. We need to focus on spreading peace and individuality,” says 25-year-old Ricky.
Semi-precious stones have long been believed to possess special magical and healing powers. Combining this magic with the concept of peace results in a magnificent creation of sparkling colours that you can wear as a natural medical cure for emotional and physical problems. Each of the stones has some kind of healing property that enables the wearer to deal with life in a beautiful, natural way. Ricky, who grew up in the Spitzkoppe area, has been surrounded by magical rocks and stones all his life, but it was only years later that his grandfather inspired him to start making something of them.
Having been all over the world as a young man, and having a difficult time deciding what to do with his life, Ricky started his career with a degree in Hotel Management in the mother city of Cape Town. A year later, he changed course to 3D Animation at City Varsity, after which he decided to return to Namibia. “It was very weird. I was so amped and ready to do something inspiring. But it seemed that everything here happened so slowly. The wheels turn, but they turn at a very slow pace. It took me a year to realise that 3D was not going to work here.”
Then inspiration was born one day when he was sitting at home with nothing to do. “My grandfather had a collection of semi-precious stones and he had often told me I should make something beautiful out of them. The creative juices started flowing and I made the first piece of what today is the Peace Collection.” Most of the stones he uses to convey the message of peace are found in Namibia and each piece is unique and special in its own way. “The best is that it all came from the foresight of my grandfather. Today he is a very proud man.”
And this is far from the end for Ricky. “I want to keep on making jewellery and in the process start training others to do it as well. Through my work, I strive to promote Namibia and empower the youth. This is what we all need to do.”
Ricky also owns a company called Hatani Wild Internship Namibia, an exchange programme with the University of Oregon that acts as a placement for interns. The company enables him to meet and interact with young people from around the world and gives Ricky the opportunity to show them the diverse cultures and beauty of our country. He is also currently working on developing a campsite that will be called Baokwab and will be aimed at promoting a peaceful co-existence between nations. It will offer an authentic Damara cultural experience and will benefit the local people in terms of income and employment.
Ricky has had two exhibitions thus far. The first, ‘Where the Light Touches’, consisted of jewellery and paintings (yes, he also paints) and was held in June 2009. The second, ‘In the Light’, was held in January 2010 and was an artistic collaboration with photographer and friend, Nessy Hilifilwa.
“Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make. Something you do, something you are. And something you give away.”
The healing properties of Ricky’s stones - Rose quartz, the love stone - Blue lace agate, stone of communication - Yellow jasper, energy booster and mind clearer - Red jasper, stone of protection, bringer of joy - Green aventurine, stone of good luck - Amethyst, the sobriety stone - Tigers’ eye, stone of the mind - Turquoise, stone to draw out negative vibrations
Wear a handmade Namibian pendant, ring or leather armband, and spread the message of peace. The Peace Collection can be bought at the Namibian Craft Centre or directly from Ricky (081 406 2015). Ricky also has a collection of pieces available on Facebook.