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CLEMENT’S HOUSES (article first published : 2000-09-20)

Next time you approach the intersection where the Mayville on-ramps join the N3, keep an eye out under the bridge for Clement Vusi Gumede (21) who can be seen with his meticulously-made dolls’ houses every day from about 07h00 to 17h00.

Regular motorists using this route may remember that until recently he was selling rubber tyre swings.

It’s hardly the most advantageous point from which to display his wares because it is difficult for traffic to stop unless people park some distance away and walk. Or illegally mount the grassed area under the bridge. However, Clement is considering alternate stands.

Born and brought up in Port Shepstone, he has no formal schooling which makes his charming little houses all the more impressive as he has a natural sense of perspective and proportion. Either single or double storied, they are constructed out of discarded wood from tomato boxes which Clement picks up at the market. He also uses corrugated cardboard salvaged from inside cardboard boxes for his immaculate “roof tiling”, eventually rubbing it with red shoe polish to achieve a terracotta tile look. The roofs even have gutters so Clement has a firm grip on the practicalities of architecture.

All houses have fancy TV aerials and net curtains and are spacious enough for even the most décor-conscious child to fill with tiny pieces of furniture of their choice. They range from R100 for the single story bungalows to R150 for the double-storied houses.




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