national Arts Festival Banner

Sunday, August 17, 2014


(Dr Andrew Venter with Sibusiso Vilane and his rhino. Pic by Adi Weerheim)

On June 23, King Shaka International Airport saw the unveiling of the 15th rhino sculpture in the Rhino Parade campaign. The Wildland’s Rhino Parade is an innovative fundraising campaign based on the internationally renowned Cow Parade concept. The campaign seeks to raise funding for, and increase awareness around, the war on rhino poaching by getting truly great South Africans to adopt and help design a three-quarter-life size black rhino sculpture.

The sculpture was that of inspirational mountaineer, expedition guide and motivational speaker, Sibusiso Vilane. In 2005, he became the first black person to summit Mount Everest from both sides. He then embarked on the Seven Summits Quest, which involves climbing the highest mountain on each continent, and was also the first black person to achieve this. Since his first ascent of Kilimanjaro in 1999, Sibusiso has summited that mountain 14 times, 12 of which have been guiding trips. Vilane has also run and completed four Comrades Marathons. He is truly inspirational.

“Sibusiso is a truly inspirational chap,” said Elizabeth-Ann Ross who designed his rhino sculpture. “His open arms and broad smile tell you that he is a giver and wants the best for all who surround him. He has come from a very humble background and made a name for himself; not because he wanted to be rich and famous, but so that he could change the lives of others for the better. The climbing rope made into traditional-type jewellery on the sculpture, symbolises the protection of the horn, as it protects mountaineers, like Sibusiso, from falling on treacherous mountains.”

Wildlands Conservation Trust (the custodians of the Rhino Parade campaign) CEO, Dr Andrew Venter, was blown away by the contribution made by Vilane, as well as ACSA to the Trust’s conservation efforts. “We need more donors like King Shaka Airport that donate towards our conservation projects, especially for rhino,” said Dr Venter. “Unfortunately rhino poaching has become a stale topic for the media and public alike and we need to make it current again. It is more relevant now than ever, with statistics climbing daily.”

King Shaka International Airport has supported the Rhino Parade since 2012, not only through donations but also by “babysitting” these interesting sculptures in the terminal building.

More information on