Ancient elephant paths have provided the map for later human migration, both literally and figuratively, as humans have migrated to new lands for survival or for what they see as a better life.
Elephants play an important role in the environment and in the archetypal consciousness of human beings, which no doubt accounts for the great attraction that humans invariably feel towards elephants.
If we are to accept the scientific declaration that all humanity evolved in and migrated from Africa into the world as we know it, then Africa may be said to be the memory of the human archetype.
Based on this, Dr Ian Player believes elephants to be embedded into the essential consciousness of humankind.
This may account for the warm and often tactile reactions that people of every age and culture have towards the sculpted elephants of Andries Botha when they come into contact with them.
It would also explain why these life-sized elephants made of natural or recycled material are the perfect vehicles to get people from all walks of life connecting, collaborating, talking and eventually coming up with unique and meaningful ideas and solutions.
Picture: Ungayithenga inhlizyo nomongo wami
You can buy my heart and my soul"
Photogragher: Courtesy of Antwerp Zoo
Elephants in trouble
The on-going slaughter of elephants for ivory appearing almost daily in the press seriously threatens the very existence of these incredible creatures. It is unthinkable that a world without elephants is a distinct possibility.
Durban's Warwick Triangle trauma
Some years ago as a result of a political agenda, work on the elephant sculpture at the entrance to the city was halted and the artwork allowed to be vandalised and virtually destroyed. Thanks to a huge groundswell of public outrage as well as powerful legal action at the highest level the issue is now resolved and the artwork will be completed in the near future. This is a terrific victory for the freedom of creative expression and the protection of artistic intellectual property.
Upset in The Hague
Nomkhubulwane was an iconic feature as a part of an important exhibition in The Netherlands.
One night after a concert a group of youths saw fit to topple the artwork.
The work has been satisfactorily repaired and she can now continue her global ambassadorial functions!
It's ironic that humanity can stoop so low even in the manicured gardens of a sophisticated European city which is the seat of the International Court of Justice. This is of course precisely the key issue!