Childhood craft lessons pay off for Mazibuko

Her work extends to hand-sculpted items as well.

When Sindi Mazibuko’s landlord back in KwaZulu Natal forced her to learn art, she never saw the significance of it.

“I was very young back then. I think I must have been 10 years old. We use to live on a farm and every time I came from school, the landlady would sit with me and teach me how to do all kinds of artistic works such as pottery and bead work.

“I can say that I was not formally taught but as time went by I realised that I needed to attain some formal training,” said Mazibuko.

Fast forward to 2012 when Mazibuko opened her own business in Zola called The Hands of Soweto Art Work with the same skills she learned from her landlady. She specialises in pottery, mosaic and traditional attires and operates the business from her home.

“When I started out in Johannesburg I realised that I’m working so hard but I’m getting paid a very meagre wage. Basically, I was sharing my knowledge for peanuts.

“I didn’t know where to start but I managed to work hard for four years then when I left the company, I used my Unemployment Insurance Fund monies to start up my business,” she said.

Just like any other business, The Hands of Soweto Art Work also has its ups and downs and still needs assistance.

She said, “Sometimes I get orders and at other times I don’t. There are peak seasons like September where I know that I will get more orders for traditional outfits”

There are many people that she wants to employ but because she doesn’t have enough space she finds it difficult to do so.

“If I could just find a place where I could operate from and machinery because I currently don’t have any machinery, I have to rent the machinery I’m using, then I will be able to employ more people,” she said.

She has participated in exhibitions in places like Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Soweto Theatre.

Mazibuko also teaches a few children art and wishes to pass down her knowledge to more children in future.

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Noluthando Radebe

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