Shukushukuma Beaders is Zulu voor ‘ijverige handen’. Een vooruitstrevend en creatief initiatief van de Topsy Foundation uit Zuid Afrika dat wordt gerund door een groep lokale vrouwen in de omgeving van Grootvlei, Zuid Afrika. Met elkaar maken zij ons assortiment van unieke gekleurde beschermengelen, minuscuul vervaardigd met hele kleine kraaltjes.
“I am Joyce Mazibuko. I am 23 years old, single and live together with my mother. I have done a study parallel to my beadwork. The beads have given me the freedom to earn my own money while studying. I enjoy learning new skills and getting to know other people.”
“My name is Nobayeni Ngwenya, I am 39 years old. I live together with my daughters who are 14 and 18 years old and with their father. Beading has become part of me. I like it, because I can work from home and I have become friends with the other beaders. The money I earn helps us to pay for school, clothes and food. I am proud that I contribute to a Microfinance for starting businesses in Africa!”
Thembi Nkosi is 45 years, married and has two children from 17 and 23 years. She looks after her granddaughter of 2 years. Thembi has been with the beading group since 2011.
“The bead work keeps me busy and I can assist my husband with his income. Initially I found beading very difficult and I was slow to finish an item, but I find it easy now and have picked up speed.”
Jane Ngozo is 36 years, lives with her husband-to-be and has a 4 year old daughter. Jane has been with the group since its onset. She has fulfilled various duties within the group over the years, and act currently as shopkeeper, controlling and handing out raw materials to the various beaders. “I like my work as it helps my husband financially, I enjoy being at work with the others as they have become my friends. I also like having the responsibility of being the shop keeper.”.
“I am Vangile Tshabalala and live with my two sons, 15 and 11 years old. I get no financial support from the boys’ father. But I have a new man in my life, who helps me now and then financially. And I am expecting his child. I have been with the group for 6 years.”
Sesi Nhlapo is 29 years, single and has a boy of 10 years. She lives with her parents and younger brother and sister. She is the sole bread winner of the family and has won an award for most technically competent beader of the group. She has been a member of the beading group for 7 years. Sesi has a strong sense of responsibility and is somebody the group can rely on during a deadline crisis.
“I love my work as it keeps me away from doing something bad. It is nice to be here at the department, to be with others. I work hard for my money and am proud to be able to pay for school fees for my boy and food for my old parents and younger brother and sister.”
“My name is Thandazile Tshabalala, I am 32 year old and have 3 children from 7 and 4 years and 6 months. I am married but stay alone during weekdays because my husband works far from home. For me it’s important that I can produce the beadworks at home, to take care of my children in the same time. I like this work and am proud to be able to contribute to the welfare of my family.”
“My name is Sarah Shabangu, I have 2 girls from 19 and 6, and live with their father. I have just joined the group, but since I am familiar with bead work, I find the work easy. I enjoy the bead work, because I can work from home with no transport problems and in my own time, so I can look after my family.”
“My name is Thabisile Nhlapo. I am 29 years old and live with my fiancé. I have been working with the Shukushukuma Beaders for 5 years. I like my beading work, to be around people and the positive work atmosphere. With joy I created this beadwork for you. I am proud that I can give a future to my family and to other starting businesses in Africa!”
This is Velile Sithole, 24 years old. She has been part of the beading group for 4 years, leader of the beading group for the last 2 years. From rebel to representative, Velile has become the voice of the group, keeping it cohesive, astounding for her young age.
“I am glad to be able to support my family with the skills that I have learnt at Topsy. It is a challenge to lead the group, but I have learnt how to work with people and to manage many things. I use my skills for my own purposes as well.”