Allure

Allure

African Found Objects

African Found Objects

Poseidon

Poseidon

African Romance

African Romance

ZSISKA

ZSISKA

On Sale

ON SALE

African Found Objects

Begun as a hobby in 1992, this home industry was created out of a desire to create a more African style of safety pin bracelets using recycled materials.  In order to achieve this design, telephone-wire off-cuts, computer-cable scraps and pieces of throw-out plastic tubing are used.  We now also incorporate old soda cans wrapped around the pins.

Working hard to maintain excellent quality, with interesting textures and color combinations and, very importantly, keeping an eye on fashion, is an integral part of our vision.

The 5 people who work for us are dependent on sales in order to support themselves, their immediate families and, often, the extended family.   Black Africans are very family-orientated and community-minded.  The artisans work from home, mostly, commuting to deliver, be paid and get more materials and instructions.

Some of The Team

Nigel is an Anglican priest. The home industry is not officially connected to the church or his work as a priest; however, he believes in doing as much as possible to alleviate the high unemployment problem and poverty.  It gives people so much dignity to be able to work, and to produce good-quality, highly desirable products that are in demand all over the world. 

Cynthia Sobekwa (40), helps making bracelets.  She comes from a rural area in the Eastern Cape called Mkapusi. She is Xhosa-speaking and was raised by her mother, as her father died before she turned 2.  Her childhood was spent playing with the children of the community, making clay dolls and using old clothes; also cars with wire and cows with clay.  They looked after cattle and sheep, cooked, fetched water, cleaned the house, washed clothes, helped with the planting and hoeing and attended school.  Cynthia finished her schooling in 1982 and came to Johannesburg looking, as she says, for “green pastures”.  She has worked at a restaurant, then as a receptionist, afterwards as a nurse.  She had three children, but one died in 2002.  Cynthia says: “I would like to be financially free one day because I would like to upgrade my community.  I would like to see tourists coming to my community and creating jobs for jobless people there.”

Xolisa Michael Sobekwa (28), is Cynthia’s nephew and was raised by her, while his mother worked in the city.  He also finished school, but couldn’t continue with his studies because his parents did not have money for this.  He could not find work in Port Elizabeth or Cape Town, and then Cynthia recommended him to me.  Xolisa says: “I love my job because it is everything to me.  I can pay my rent, buy clothes, buy food…everything depends on it.  I am busy paying my lobola (traditional payment to the father of the bride).  He now has two children and the income allows him to support his family.  He is still paying off the bride price.