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South African Company Helps Create Local Art for Virtual World

Meet Fhatuwani Mukheli who is using The Tree, an online marketplace, to help South African artists to sell their work as NFTs.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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On a daily basis, Fhatuwani Mukheli, a South African artist, paints two paintings in his Johannesburg workshop. A traditional piece, which is an image on cloth, as well as digital art on the Metaverse.

He does this so that his buyers can receive both the physical and virtual art experience and he has already made some profits from this.

He sells his virtual work on an online marketplace called The Tree. He also uses this platform to empower other South African artists and encourage them to sell their work as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

Some of the artists on The Tree offer up to five limited editions of NFTs or digital prints for each piece and the move already seems lucrative.

Mukheli talks about the Metaverse saying, “There’s a virtual world where people are buying land. It is a non-physical world in which individuals interact through different kinds of digital technology. Technology companies like Microsoft and Facebook say it is the future of the internet.”

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“People have properties there, and your art can be on those walls,” Mukheli adds

Trevor Stuurman, one of the artists on the Tree also said,
“I think it’s important as an artist and a creative to always play where the ball is going and not necessarily where it’s at.”

Although critics say blockchains and digital places used to store information are not climate-friendly because they use a great amount of computing power, the Tree says it saves energy by running on Polygon, a blockchain that uses much less power, and offsets each sale by sending money to Greenpop, an environmental organization that plants trees across Africa.


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