Welcome to
Wezandla Crafts and Senzokuhle Wire co.
The Story of a Rural Craft Project
The Zulu's in the Elandsberg farm area, some 50km south of Dundee in the northern part of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, survive on subsistence farming, money sent down from the cities by the few migrant workers who are still able to find work, and on government grants and pensions. Unemployment in this area is put at close to 80%. The poverty and hopelessness of the local community touched and moved us to take action to restore hope and pride to the people.
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, with only a few of the older generation and the sangomas still acquainted with the techniques. 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. Shifting the focus to products which needed to be sewn up into clothing or interior accessories, meant that another line of work and a new skill had to be looked at and taught… that of sewing. - read more...