The coffee shop is popular with tourists and we expected the painting to sell to a Rand rich tourist. Somewhat to our surprise, it was bought by a local Ladismith resident who fell in love with it.
In a flyer that Hilda gave us along with the painting, she relates the story of how the painting came about.
Hilda Beukes writes:
My husband took me to a 'conservancy' in the Free State for my birthday so that I could take photos.
I went out that morning very early on my own just when the sun came up and I was trying to get the attention of two cheetahs in one camp when I caught a slight movement to my right. He was stalking me through the trees. Very eerie feeling…. When he saw that I’ve seen him he casually strolled right up next to me by the fence so close I could touch him and he got up on an old tree stump and just started posing the whole time making eye contact.
I didn’t even want to take photos, we just talked with each other for almost 2 hours then I suppose he got bored. He wasn’t aggressive or threatened by me at all. It was an amazing experience and we really shared a moment.
The encounter just touched my heart and it was something I just couldn’t walk away from ever since.