In February 2015, Elzan le Roux and Chantalle de Klerk discussed the need for high quality, feel-good fleece products for game lodge guests. After some serious planning and designing, we made our first few samples of soft, warm hooded scarves, pillow-blankets and beanies. But what to call the product? During one of our planning sessions, we overheard a Field Guide course lecture, covering the mammalian order “Whippomorpha”, the whales, dolphins and hippos. WHIPPO was born.
The initial marketing was met with quite some enthusiasm. Such was the quality of the Whippo products we were inundated with orders.
Since that rather humble beginning, Whippo has become a well-known brand in game lodges in Pilanesberg, Madikwe, Lowveld, Northern Cape and Namibia.
We have since broadened our scope, now supporting a leather range, fleece range, safari range, and a fun range called line art. This consists of a growing variety of wildlife-themed branded mugs, license disks, magnets and other useful and pretty items.
By purchasing products from our leather range you help providing jobs for previously unemployed people. Your purchase provides life skill training for lovely people from a South African township of Ikageng.
A portion of the sales go back to support the non-profit organisation; Mosaic Community Developments, which is implementing a comprehensive orphan model.
LOCAL AFRICAN ARTIST
Born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 1987, Philani realised early in life that he was different. One day, aged 6, he made a drawing of a passing bus in the sand. A friend of his father made fun of him, telling him he got the proportions all wrong. Philani didn’t mind. He kept drawing.
In primary school, he got in trouble often for making drawings instead of focusing on schoolwork, sometimes getting beatings for this “ill-discipline”.
In time, though, even the teachers realised his talent. He became the go-to guy to make drawings for science, geography and religion. He even got paid – in coins!
At this point, everyone inspired and praised him. Finally, he was a recognised artist! His mother, who used to complain about his late-night drawing instead of studying, also changed her mind. She proudly announced to all that he had a divine gift.
Philani is in love with Nature – the trees, rivers and mountains, the animals, birds and sea creatures. Equally, he loves human culture; the different tribes and ways of life also inspires his art.
Da Vinci is his role model and inspiration, with his sketches and art. Whilst he never had the opportunity to attend art school, his self-taught artwork is of exceptional quality. Fortunately, he decided against his chosen job as a mechanic!
Whippo is proud to make use of this local artist, and he is the creator of many of our designs. We shall continue to support Philani and others like him, helping to empower those who have the talent, but often not the opportunity!
When Inspired by Nature… we create perfection!