Painting the Town

The Ballito MagazineAugust 4, 2023

Through thick paint and thin, Friso has made his mark with his mural art, and what a sight it is to see!


Our Ballito community is full of different people, and we can confirm many creative people. I’m sure you have seen the colourful and grandiose mural art around Ballito. You may even know the artist. Friso van der Wal with his wife Karien and two kids, Kieron and Kezma, have been a part of our town for four years now after moving from Gauteng. Ballito used to be their family holiday destination, and it was always the plan to move here once the kids finished school, but they decided to start their kids’ high school careers on the coast. A great decision, I might add, as it has brought success and happiness to their family.


Friso grew up doing art, although it often got him in trouble for vandalism at school and drawing on friends’ pencil cases. He always got caught because he was the only one with that type of drawing skill and theme, graffiti. It never stopped him, though, but after school, he didn’t draw as much as he did and started working the grind, making a comfortable living with his wife and kids. They lived contently and well until the recession caused them to lose everything, including their home in Gauteng. This brought a disaster to their life path, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Friso soon started making art again, and with the support of family members buying it and social media blowing up his work, he never looked back.


Now Friso is a well-known mural artist who paints with only an airbrush in Ballito, Gauteng, and Cape Town. He paints murals for businesses, like a few restaurants in Ballito and private clients in homes. But, wait, not only is Friso a mural artist, he also does oil and acrylic paintings on canvas by day and DJs at many venues, like Conchilla, by night, with non-stop creative juices. One of his canvas paintings is of a whale in the ocean – a beautiful piece of art for a Ballito beach-style home, *wink*. While talking to Friso and his wife Karen, a personal trainer and an IFBB SA Champion. Karien is not only a fitness fanatic but has a creative and artsy side too! She loves to doodle and never thought that her art would blow up and become the second side of her income. Her daughter, Kezma, asked her to do an art piece for her room, a whale with funky patterns. This made Karen come up with the idea of making a wooden surfboard shape and drawing the artwork on there, so with the help of her son, Kieron, they made the board, and she drew the art. After posting it on social media, all of a sudden, she was getting people asking for one. Now you can find her two Monkey boards in The Barrel.


Wow, we’re proud to have such a creative family making their mark in our town and bringing art into different spaces for all of us to admire Maybe you have seen Friso’s artwork in a few restaurants… well let’s have some fun! You can find his work in Kuta-Kola, Conchilla, The Barrel, Polipetto Bar & Seafood, Flamma Grill, Coull Cotton Co., and Taso’s Bar & Grill Ballito, We’d love to see everyone experience his art by taking photos of or with his mural at any of these places. Use the hashtag #paintingthetownTBO so we can see our amazing re aders with Friso’s artworks!


Words by Kai CoatesĀ