If Clayden Botes didn’t leave school at 13 years old, he wouldn’t be the artist he is today. He had endured constant harassment from other children for being on the autistic spectrum. “I couldn’t read and write and the kids would bully me,” Clayden says. His mother, Antoinette, was also struggling. She was one of many who had lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. But when South African schools temporarily closed, it provided them with the opportunity to creatively uplift themselves.

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