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A community climate change advocacy artwork

Climate change is the biggest existential threat of our time with global warming and extreme weather events already affecting vulnerable communities the most. 

To put this into perspective, a group of talented artists from Hamburg in the Eastern Cape of South Africa – whose signature style of colourful embroidery is known across the world – have created a visual masterpiece that tells the story of climate impacts on their community, and the importance of sustainable livelihoods to build their climate resilience.

This masterpiece lands at a pertinent time – for people and nature – with world leaders soon to meet in Dubai for the crucial COP28 climate negotiations.

On this page, you can explore the artists' stories through video and text. Their testimonies are unique but also universal, connecting us all like the threads within a tapestry masterpiece.

An image of the full Umlibo artwork ©PippaHetherington

For a copy of the special Umlibo booklet, which features the full artwork, sign up below and you will receive an electronic copy.


How can you get involved?

We hope that the stories will spark important conversations and change minds, inspiring urgent and ambitious climate action.

Start a local climate conversation today. Whether in school, the workplace or your community, the Umlibo booklet and accompanying lesson plans are powerful conversation starters and education tools. Sign up below to download them.

Sign up to download the Umlibo resources


"Just as the pumpkin vine, umlibo, spreads over time and place, we hope the message of the artwork will do the same."


Meet the artists and read their stories:

Zukiswa Zitha portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9689

Zukiswa Zitha: Climate change and environmental impacts

Sanela Maxengana portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_5020

Sanela Maxengana: Climate change and nature’s balance

Nozeti Makhubalo portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9664

Nozeti Makhubalo: Climate impacts and rural poverty  

Cebo Mvubu portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9750

Cebo Mvubu: Climate impacts and changing livelihoods

Veronica Betani portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9715

Veronica Betani: Climate impacts and mental health 

Kwandi Paliso portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9731

Kwandi Paliso: Climate adaptation and local food security 

Setyenzwa Mangwane portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9774

Setyenzwa Mangwane: Climate adaptation and sustainable livelihoods

Siya Maswana portrait artwork ©PippaHetherington_9825

Siya Maswana: Climate awareness and practical solutions