Article about the NALA Art Exhibition in Mainz in the "Allgemeine Zeitung"
3rd Anniversary ( 12.4.2013 - 12.4.2016 )
The NALA Project
NALA started on her little purple bicyle from Cape Agulhas, the most southern point in Africa. She just followed her dreams to see what´s beyond the big mountains.
One day she left home and discovered since start 12 Countries around
16 000 kilometer on her bicycle. Soon she will continue cycling in West Africa.
For this reason we created the unique NALA Magazin for Artisty Day Dreamers and Travelling Night Thinkers.
In the Magazin are all Photos and stories about NALA´s journey.
In french: http://www.the-nala-project.com/francais/
Thank you to all friends and followers who supported me during my trip through Africa.
André Pilz and little NALA
( Artikel geschrieben von Sandra Löwe, freie Schule Schwepnitz )
Das Nala Projekt
In unserer Weihnachtsprojektwoche besuchte uns Frau Susan Friedrich, um das Nala Projekt vorzustellen und über ihre eigenen Erlebnisse von ihrer Reise nach Äthiopien zu berichten. Nala ist ein afrikanisches Mädchen, in Form einer Puppe, welches sich neugierig auf die Reise begibt, um Menschen und Tiere kennenzulernen und zu sehen, welche Abenteuer ihr auf der Reise begegnen. Auf ihrer Reise wird sie von Andre begleitet, mit dem sie gerade per Fahrrad quer durch Afrika reist.
Frau Friedrich besuchte und begleitete die Beiden im Oktober 2015 für eine Woche auf ihrem Weg durch Äthiopien. Ihre Eindrücke und Erlebnisse schilderte sie den Schülern der Klassen 5, 7 und 10 anhand von Fotos und Worten.
Die Kinder in Äthiopien laufen tagtäglich in die Schule, mitunter stundenlang, um unterrichtet werden zu können. Schule in Äthiopien ist ganz anders als bei uns. Papier und Stifte sind sehr selten und somit ein kostbares Gut, mit dem sehr sorgsam umgegangen wird. Nala interessiert sich vor allem für die Gedanken der Schüler in Form von Zeichnungen. Deswegen hat sie Stifte und Zeichenblätter im Gepäck, die verteilt und sofort benutzt werden. Oft entstehen wunderbare Bilder voller Geschichten. Nala will mit Hilfe der Kunst die Menschen zueinander bringen und friedvolle Begegnungen entstehen lassen.
Unsere Schüler zeichneten am Ende des Vortrages auch etwas und zwar das, was sie Nala über sich mit auf dem Weg geben möchten – das was ihnen wichtig ist, was sie persönlich ausmacht.
Wir danken Frau Friedrich recht herzlich, dass sie uns über das Nala Projekt und Äthiopien berichtete. Äthiopien ist ein wundervolles Land und Afrika ist viel mehr als seine Probleme, um es mit den Worten von Frau Friedrich zu sagen.
Wer mehr über das Nala Projekt erfahren möchte, kann sich unter folgendem link informieren:
written by Sandra Löwe, Freie Schule Schwepnitz
11.December - 17.December 2015
New article about The NALA Project in the "Kenyan Weekly" newspaper.
(written by Anjellah Owino (freelance journalist from Nairobi, Kenya)
The NALA Project in the Show "ART -TITUDE in the Kenyan KBC TV.
As soon as I edit the Art-Titute show, I will show the Video here.
Interview about The NALA Project mit Eva Maina from KBC TV in Nairobi / Kenya
6. September 2014 Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Interview with Happy (center) for the Palette & Brush TV Show in
Dar es Salaam / Tanzania
at the 2nd NALA exhibition in
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Dar es Salaam /
New Article about
The NALA Project
in The Guardian
I am a bit angry because:
1. They print the wrong Photo.
I submitted photos of
NALA and the Artworks.
but they choose only a photo of myself, which I not agreed.
2. They only copied Text from other NALA articles (newspaper and online) am really sorry for that.
Online Article about The NALA Project on akatasia.com or follow the article direct: http://akatasia.com/articles/questions-andre-pilz-nala-project/
Akatasia is an online platform with a mission to promote the best of Africa by showcasing African-related and African-inspired news, products and services.
Questions with André Pilz of The Nala Project JUL 14, 2014 • ART, ARTICLES, INTERVIEWS •
Last week I learnt about The NALA project. As I was studying the website and the artwork, I was inspired and came to the realization that it is possible to live out your dreams and fantasies. No matter how far-fetched or ludicrous they may seem, as long as that’s what fuels your soul, then absolutely go for it. That being said André Pilz (the founder of the NALA project) is a German artist who was based in Cape Town up until recently when he decided to embark on a bicycle tour across Africa to Europe. Where he hopes to end up? In London to see his lifelong music idol Nigerian-British singer Helen folasade Adu or SADE. As a fellow Sade fan, I was intrigued to learn more and find out what Mr Pilz hopes will come out of the project.
Read the interview below:
How did the idea for the NALA project come about?
While listening to Sade’s song Sally’ one day, I started doodling on some paper. Before I knew it, I had created a simple little character NALA. At the time during NALA’s creation, I was feeling sad, because SADE was touring Europe and I was in South Africa at the time. With very little finances, I wasn’t able to make it to Europe to see her perform. I am a German citizen, was living in Cape Town for 8 years but I got sick and tired of my daily life, so felt it was time to leave and explore new things. I came up with the idea to cycle from Cape Town to London. I wanted to create a SADE Fanbook where all the fans I meet along the way can write a tribute message to her. I have always had the dream to cycling through Africa, so this made sense and NALA’s significance became more apparent.
Who is NALA?
NALA is now a 8 years old Girl. She grew up in Township near Cape Town in South Africa.
The Story began when she was 6. In traditional african culture from age 8, little Girls are expected to help with domestic chores, like washing the clothes, cleaning the house, washing dishes, buying some stuff in the shop…… while the boys can enjoy outside with friends ( cycling, soccer, having fun) NALA was 5 years old, when she started helping out around the house.
One day during the domestic work, she noticed some shimmering mountains in the background. She started imagining what was behind the mountains. The more she thought about it, the more her curiosity about the majestic mountains grew. One day she was sitting outside on the steps and she was very sad. A little bird came and ask NALA, ‘what’s wrong? why you are so sad?’ NALA told him the story and the bird said to her. “ Well NALA if this is your dream, than you must go and find out what’s behind the mountains.
Don’t dream your life, live your dreams. These words inspired NALA to escape from home and begin a long journey. NALA felt free. She met so many lovely people, animals and nature, that she decides to continue her journey. I like that you used a young female to mirror your goal of following your dream.
Was there significance as to why you used a young girl?
African Woman’s work a lot harder than men. NALA is an advocate for the empowerment of woman in Africa. The Philosophy is easy, simply listen to your heart and follow your dreams.
How much planning did you do before starting this journey? and how are you funding this project?
I created NALA in 2011. Luckily I was able to travel twice a year to Germany for some casual jobs. From that I was able to save for the journey. So the next few years were spent between South Africa and Germany, just working to save money. It wasn’t much but I had to budget by eating local food, sleeping in local guesthouses, camping wild for free and using couchsurfing.org (extremely low budget). I have 10 euro per day to spend on food and sleep for the duration of my journey. In 2012, I had created the Website for the Project to document my travels. Before starting the project, I flew to Switzerland (countryside) to see my friend and get some quiet time to think about everything. Honestly, It’s not really a trip you can plan.
Have there been any challenges so far? Do you any concerns you have i.e. safety, health etc
Challenges are mostly cycling up high mountains. All the border crossing were easy and no problems with the police. I did get a little sickness like, flu, angina, runny tummy…(you know what I mean). Nothing too serious. There are challenges with regards to organizing transportation for the NALA artwork either to South Africa or to Germany for storage and sometimes the transportation from one country to the next was a big challenge. (getting my 80kg Artbox from Zambia to Malawi and from Malawi to Tanzania posed some issues). Sometimes I hope to have a bit more support to send the artworks. Traffic can also a problem, In Zimbabwe, they don’t have a shoulder next to the Highway, but a lot of heavy Traffic (Trucks and Buses) and careless drivers. One day, a big Truck overtook me at approximately 15 cm distance ( I past a parking truck on the road, In the same time another Truck came from the front and a big Bus (Coach) came from the Back. It was very short, I was really lucky not to get caught by the Bus from the back.
What has been the highlight?
Landscapes, (Desert in Namibia ), Silence, amazing Starry skies. The Tour is still a Highlight. Doing what I want to do. To be absolutely free. No restrictions.
Can anyone get involved with the project or is it solely people that you meet on your trip?
Well, normally only people who I met on my Trip ( Artists and Tailors who make the NALA Dresses) but If anyone wants to get involved, he can contact me and we can see how we can work together. They can just send me an email. I also open for other Ideas from everybody. Of course there are some Ideas in my mind. I was thinking about The NALA Painting Day where schools can be involved in the project.
But I am open to discussions and collaborations.
Was there a reason you choice cycling as apposed to taking the plane to London? What do you travel with?
So with a plane, its too fast and expensive. A car is also too fast and expensive, and I didn’t feel like sitting in a metal cage. With a bicycle you get to explore the outdoors, enjoy nature, smell the air and also I feel like you pose less threat on a bike. I feel free on the bike. People are more open to speak with you. On the other hand there is a dangerous aspect because I am more exposed to crime, weather and traffic. But then, this is part of the adventure. I think the highlight at the end will be knowing that I used my own muscle power to reach my target. I travel with a 28inch Bicycle, Brand: Hercules Jump, Aluminum frame, Schwalbe Tyres, Brooks sattle, V-breaks, simple things but good quality. My gear includes a tent, air-mattress, pillow, sleeping bag, stove, little Laptop (Notebook) , MP3Player, a few Clothes, 2kg of Paintbrushes, SADE Fanbook, DSLR Camera, and my tripod. So where are you now and when do you hope to reach London? Currently I am in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after cycling 11.915 km ( 7.387 miles ) and 15 month on the road. I started on April 1, 2013. The rough route will be Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, than I will cross DRC to Congo Brazzaville, then Gabon, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, then Ivory coast and than I will figure out how to reach Morocco and then Spain….. I guess I will reach London in approximately 2 Years (It depends on how far I can cross Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). East Africa is easy, but West Africa is another Issue. I don’t pay bribe, so I guess I have to wait sometimes longer than others to get something. We will see..
What happens when you get to London?
When I reach London, I am hoping to find a Gallery or a similar exhibition hall where I can exhibit all the NALA artworks incl. the story of the NALA journey. I will print photos and postcards to sell with proceeds going towards helping the artists and some projects in Africa (haven’t decided yet). I hope to make NALA products, like little NALA dolls, bags, whatever.. At a later stage I will write Illustrated Books from NALA´s Journey. When I am able to exhibit those Artworks, I will design print Catalogs that shows all the Artworks including artists bio’s and Info. I think there is so much more to do and who knows. On this type of journey many Ideas pop up.
Have you contacted Sade yet? Does she know about this project?
I will try to invite her for the opening of the NALA Exhibition in London and I will present the fanbook over to her as a way to thank her for the music. I haven’t contacted her yet. I don’t have contact details of her or the management. It is really hard to get.
My Idea is to contact two of their band members (from the life tour in 2011) via Facebook, only when I cross Nigeria. ( The Sade Fans International (SFI) Facebook page has helped me a lot to generate interest.
As a member, I always get updates. They have shared my story and some of the artwork with fellow members.
To learn more and to view the full collection of artwork, visit www.the-nala-project.com. You can also follow the Facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/TheNalaProject
Interview by H.Esi
6. May 2014 Cape Maclear / Malawi
Another article about The NALA Project,
written via Facebook
by Haroula Spiropoulos ( Canada)
Another random inspiration from around the world: The NALA Project
I met André Pilz camped out next to the lake in Cape Maclear, Malawi. He has been cycling his way through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi for the last year and a month. To date he has cycled 9,460km, averaging about 75 to 80 km a day sometimes up to 100km reaching speeds as high as 20 km/hr. Originally from Germany, he had been living in Cape Town, South Africa for the last 6 years.
He started in Cape Town and plans to reach London, England in two more years by bicycle. Continuing north to Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and hopefully into the Democratic Republic of Congo (if it’s safe enough at the time), down to Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali along West Africa and North into Spain.
I’ve met a few cyclists doing similar routes but what made André stand out, was that he was organizing a charitable art project called ‘The NALA Project’ that would create an online network of talented local artists in every country he visits, giving them much needed exposure on a global scale. Many of them don’t have e-mail addresses, mailing addresses or phone numbers let alone the knowledge of using a computer to access the Internet. They rely solely on foot traffic from the occasional tourist or more often selling their work at wholesale for reselling at souvenir shops. In return they provide him with the means to fund various charity projects in Africa.
NALA is a character he created while planning his trip inspired by his favorite musician, SADE. A loyal fan since childhood, André originally planned to create a scrap book with messages from SADE fans he met along the way on his travels to present to the singer once he arrives in London as a request to perform in South Africa.
The story begins in Cape Town, South Africa where NALA is from. She is a 6 year old girl who spends most of her time helping her mother with chores around the house while her brothers play all day. One day she was hanging clothing she had washed, up on the clothes hanger when she looked up, over at the mountain before her and had this overwhelming curiosity to find out what was behind it. She found a bicycle and set off on an adventure to see for herself. NALA’s journey mirrors André’s but he chose a girl because of the challenges females face in many countries here in Africa as a symbol for empowerment for women. The message he wants to get across: to simply listen to your heart and follow your dreams.
Cycling gives you an entirely different perspective on travel. The scenery, sights, smells and human connections become a more intimate experience because it forces you to slow down and really take in your surroundings. You can be alone with your thoughts for days on end before you see another soul and notice things, you would normally miss on motorized transport. This is how André finds his artists. In remote villages, a small hut on the side of the road where they inconspicuously work away at their craft.
He approaches them with his NALA character and asks them to create an art piece of her. If they are keen and show a genuine effort they can pick 10 of their best pieces to be displayed on his website as well as a bio of themselves. The NALA art piece is donated to André where his collection will be showcased in an Art Exhibition in England. The pieces will later be sold and a portion of the proceeds will go to various charity projects in Africa.
An artist himself, André carries all of his artwork supplies including his paint brushes across Africa with him, totaling over 34 kg and uses them to paint murals for people along the way to supplement his trip and his project.
I asked him if he plans to go back to Cape Town to his old life after this journey and as expected he is unsure. He says that many people who take extended leaves to travel, usually could never go back to their former careers or way of life and a lot can happen in 2 years. He's considered living in other exotic countries. “Perhaps someplace like Brazil, it would have to have mountains, ocean, milk and cheese…”
You can check out his charity project at www.the-nala-project.com or join his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheNalaProject to follow his 3 year pilgrimage. Any well wishes, words of encouragement or messages for SADE's fan book are welcome.
Or if you know of anyone in any of these countries that need murals or any painting done please spread the word. Although André is pursuing this incredible journey at his own expense, he would be greatful for any sponsorship to transport all of the artwork from Germany to England.
6. May 2014
Cape Maclear, Malawi
Lusaka / Zambia
A new article about The NALA
Project in the "Saturday Post" Newspaper
in Lusaka, Zambia
the article you can find online here:
10.December 2013 Harare / Zimbabwe
The NALA / SADE Project
at the Radioshow
“the Breakfast Club”
in the Radio station STAR FM, in Harare, Zimbabwe
Thank you, Comfort Mbofana, Bongai Zamchiya and J.Boss
for the Opportunity to speak in the Radio. www.starfm.co.zw
(click to enlarge)
1. December 2013
Bulawayo / Zimbabwe
Latest Article about the NALA / SADE project
in Bulawayo / Zimbabwe
here the online link for the article: http://www.sundaynews.co.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=36875:artist-to-travel-the-world-on-bicycle&catid=43:entertainment&Itemid=135
19.August 2013 Windhoek / Namibia
NEW Artikel from www.haveplentymusic.com about The NALA Project
here the link:
or read it here:
7. August 2013 Windhoek / Namibia
The NALA Project was in the TV.
at NBC Namibia on 7.August 2013, 7 pm at the show Tutaleni
unfortunalety there is no live stream or any DVD.
NBC wanted 400 N$ ( 40€ ) for the DVD which I am not be able to pay.
21.June 2013 Windhoek / Namibia
NBC Radio Station ( at the "what´s up" broadcast with Clio)
André explanes Clio the NALA - SADE Project live on Air at the
NBC Radio station in Windhoek.
6.June 2013 Windhoek / Namibia
Article about the SADE Project in the New Era Newspaper,
Windhoek / Namibia
unfortunalety they not wrote so much about the NALA philosophie and the project and the work with the art students from the Katutura Art Centre..
(click on image to enlarge)
6. February 2013
Cape Town / South Africa
Article about the NALA - SADE Project in the "Table Talk" Newspaper
Cape Town / South Africa
click to enlarge
Copyright © 2012 - 2014 André Pilz, All rights reserved.
latest update: 5. June 2018
NALA gets a little Brother
( painted by David Thuku ( Brush to Art studio) Nairobi, Kenya )
You are already looking forward to the "little surprise" I have for you?
Some of you have guessed it.
I get a little brother. I'm so curious. I hope he is cool and relaxed to travel with him later and show him the world out there.
More stories from the my new little brother, i will write you later.
At the end of the year, we will travel to South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and maybe even Ethiopia before continuing on Bicycle through West Africa.
latest update: 7. May 2018
NALA is back in Switzerland.
NALA visited Friends in the Italian part of Switzerland ( Tessin )
Now she freezing a bit, because she is still in her summer clothes. It is not cold at all, but the snow is still 2 meter high in Bosco Gurin, approx 1500 meter above sea level.
NALA Diashow auf Youtube
Hallo Freunde von NALA.
Auf Youtube gibt es jetzt das kleine Video zu sehen, was während der NALA Ausstellung gezeigt wurde.
Folgt diesem link:
Über ein Feedback würde ich mich sehr freuen. Dieses könnt Ihr hier: Opinion about The NALA Project hinterlassen
NALA Slideshow video on YouTube
On YouTube you can see the little video, which we shown during the NALA ART Exhibition in Leipzig. This Video shows André´s and Nala´s artistic bicycle Journey through Africa.
The titles are in german language, but there are very nice photos to see.
Follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSkB-UHgOeo
It will be lovely if you can leave a comment about the NALA Project here: Opinion about The NALA Project.
Thank you very much
Yours NALA and André
I am currently in: Kassel / Germany
Tel. +49 176 4382 7985
+ André is working very hard to raise money for the next cycling Tour in West Africa.
+ searching new space for more NALA Exhibitions.
NALA and André are busy organizing Events to show the NALA Artworks from eastern and southern Africa.
More updates soon.
We will continue our NALA Project Cycling Tour
end of 2018
Cycled kilometer: 16.025 km
Tourstart by Bike was: Monday April 1, 2013
You can also find NALA on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheNalaProject
People from 156 Countries, 47 US States and 9 Canadian Provinces visited this website.
Latest new countries who visited this website:
Armenia, Madagascar, Sint Maarten, Saudi Arabia, Niger, Barbados, Turks and Caicos Islands,
Sponsors / Support:
AGS Frasers from Lusaka / Zambia, Dar es Salaam / Tanzania , Nairobi / Kenya,
Paris / France supported The NALA Project with build, store and transport of 3 NALA Art Boxes.