The idea for Wezandla Crafts came about in 1996. The Zulu word Wezandla, meaning “with hands” was to signify the products made by hand but also the reaching out and helping each other with our hands. Most of the people we wanted to reach (women) are house bound as they have other chores to attend to such as fetching water, collecting firewood, tending to cattle and crops as well as seeing to the family needs. The idea of using their traditional skills to manufacture crafts at home in their spare time came about.
We identified 2 traditional skills, grass work and beadwork as our starting point. Soon we realised that these traditional skills were dying out. After a short while of delving into traditional beadwork attire (necklaces, bracelets, belts, etc.) we soon realised that the market for these was limited. New techniques and products were designed and the focus moved on the stitching beads directly onto fabric. Many months of training and teaching new techniques of beadwork followed.
Crafters vary from a regular core group, to crafters on the outer edge who produce irregularly depending on other commitments.
SENZOKUHLE TELEPHONE WIRE RANGE
The main focus of Wezandla was providing an opportunity for the local women in beadwork skills. As we worked, the need to address unemployment amongst the men and the youth became ever increasing. An opportunity arose in 2002 to learn the skill of telephone wire weaving which has its origin in traditional grass weaving techniques and would provide the men with a craft skill. Senzokuhle Wire Co. was formed. The name was suggested by the weavers themselves and reflects the pride they have in using their new-found skill to produce some wonderful pieces. Roughly translated it means “well made”.
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- Elandsberg Farm, PO Elandskraal 3017
- Egmund for Wirework 072 347 1296
- Siggi for Bead & Fabric Range 082 673 7163