A message of hope for Knysna

When Plascon’s Corporate and Digital Communication Specialist Zurita Moore approached Knysna Tourism vice chairperson Ypie Kingma about getting involved in rebuilding Knysna after the devastating fires which started on 7 June, she said that Plascon had a message of hope for Knysna. The company wanted to tell residents – especially those who had lost their homes – that it was behind them and that there was hope for a better, brighter future.

Initially, explains Moore, they thought they would get this message across by painting murals to brighten up the town before the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival.

“However, when we actually got to Knysna we realised that the tourist areas had not been affected by the fires, so we went up to the informal settlement White Location in Ward 4 and were shocked at the devastation there,” says Moore. “We decided to start spreading our message of hope right there and went about getting permission from individual owners of homes that had not been burned down, to paint the exterior of their houses.”

The results are stunning, and the pictures speak for themselves.

“We used bright, primary colours and incorporated Knysna Tourism’s hashtag #KnysnaRises,” says Moore. ”We wanted to give our time not just product, so we did some of the painting ourselves and were able to engage with the community and understand better what their needs are.”

The creative Plascon team has also left behind a number of blank canvasses in the form of newly painted walls in George Rex Drive. “When the time is right Knysna Tourism can work with art therapists to provide emotional support to those who need it.”

Moore says that in the long-term, once Knysna starts the rebuilding process, Plascon would like to get involved in social projects such as painting schools in the informal housing areas and the Provincial Hospital which was damaged by fire.

Says Kingma: “I am sure that I speak on behalf of all our members when I say that we as Knysna & Partners are extremely grateful for corporate organisations like Plascon. The message of hope for an even more beautiful town is something which I am sure will inspire all our residents because each and every one of them has been affected in some way by the fires. And it’s a message that will no doubt be appreciated by our visitors too.”