Bobby Gathoo

Bobby Gathoo (Steenberg,Cape Town)

Bobby made his first kite when he was just 5 years old, copying one his elder brother made using a piece of paper (pulled from a school exercise book), 3 matches and cotton from one of his mother’s reels. His father was also a kite-maker, having been taught by his father (Bobby’s grandfather) who originated from Pakistan, a country where kiting is a very popular pastime.

A keen fisherman, Bobby says he flies kites when the fishing is not so good.

Bobby’s kite-making skills have been honed with years of practice. He makes a kite every single day and sells them to local children, “the children value them more if they have paid for them,” he says.

“The more you do it the better you become at mastering the art of kite-making,” says Bobby. “For me, it’s a continual practice and passion. I find it therapeutic; we become so engrossed in what is happening at ground level but when we look up our spirits lift.”

Bobby believes children of today have great opportunities. “They have all this knowledge at their disposal and freedom to choose what they want to pursue. They are the future of South Africa and if they are correctly guided they can flourish. There are many different types of people, with different abilities and talents. We should identify children’s talents and encourage them in their dreams. With kiting, the sky is the limit.”