After seeing a beautiful Nguni Bull painting at my art-dealer friend, it gave me the idea to do my own Nguni collection. Not with paint and brush though, but with camera and computer.
My sister, who lives on a farm, gave me the heads-up of some Nguni cattle in the Pretoria-North area, more specifically Honingnestkrans. I called up the owner and asked for permission to photograph the herd and use the photos commercially. She was so friendly and had no problem with my request – they have been breeding these Ngunis for the last 15 years after all!
I have to state that I am no expert on these fine animals and what I write here is first hand information from the owners. Hopefully I’m not wrong with the facts, but please correct me if I am. The Nguni is a true South African cattle breed and very used to the harsh local conditions. They are immune against ticks, are virtually maintenance free and their food intake to growth ratio is one of the highest you will find in the cattle industry. They have a smaller frame than many other cattle types and their hooves are more Kudu-like, which causes less destruction on soil and plants.
An interesting fact is their colours: one can never know what the calves’ colour will be, as it is as random as you can get – it takes four generations of breeding for type and colours to change. A young cow can become a mother by as young as 22 months and they can have calves more than once a year.
Now, back to the photoshoot. I spent half a day just walking between them in the veld. They are very tame and calm, but also very curious. The little ones are especially cute and are bouncing all over the place, finding their way and place in life.
It was a pre-season photoshoot, so the cattle was low on condition. I therefore went back this week on a post-season shoot and they were all in prime condition, especially the lead bull. His name is Mafuta. He posed like a true show champion against a glorious background and I was quite impressed by how close I got to him and the poses he gave me. They stick their noses in the grass more often than not while grazing and trying to get them to look up and at you is almost impossible!
The owner, Lenta, asked me to do two A0 canvas prints for her and her husband’s study. After a bit of “photoshopping”, it came out beautifully. I was lucky, however, with the clouds in the morning causing a nice effect!
Thank you, Lenta, for the opportunity to capture your herd of Ngunis and making some art from it as a result!
These A0 Ngunis on A0-size canvas go for R1500.00 each and includes delivery to the main centres in South Africa, all within a week from ordering one or more.