For 31 year-old Zodwa Ncgobo, beading has become so much more than a creative pastime, it’s a labour of love that has helped her to single-handedly support her family…
Zodwa lives in KwaNyuswa with her elderly mother and her two young children, Siyabonga, (meaning “we thank you” in isiZulu) aged 14 years and her daughter, 20 month-old Sekethelo (meaning “a perfect gift”). Up until a year ago, the family was struggling to survive on Zodwa’s mother’s meagre pension and their child support grants, but that all changed when her neighbour told her about the Woza Moya project at the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) and urged her to go visit the centre.
“I had been beading at home for about five years but had nowhere to sell my work” explains Zodwa, “the lady at Woza Moya bought everything from me that day and I was so happy! I bought food for my family and we all cried tears of joy…”
Since that happy day, Zodwa has become one of Woza Moya’s regular beaders and she looks forward to her weekly visits to the centre to collect her new orders and get paid for the items she has produced in that particular week. “I am very busy now thanks to Woza Moya” beams Zodwa with her head held high, “I bead everything from pens and mugs to lighters and necklaces, I am happy to bead anything because I know I will get paid well for my work and can take care of my family.” Zodwa was also recently for the first time, able to purchase all the supplies and uniform her son needed for the new school year. “Siyabonga was so excited to wear his new uniform, I was so proud to see him looking so smart on his first day of high school!” says Zodwa.
For Zodwa, being part of Woza Moya has been like joining a big family, one that is always there for you in difficult times. “Everybody here supports each other, even the beaders themselves - we laugh and cry together all the time! I bring Sekethelo with me every week to the centre too, it is safe place for mothers and their children and everyone is always happy to see her.”
About Woza Moya
Woza Moya is HACT’s award-winning economic empowerment project that strives to uplift, inspire and empower local families in need by providing skills development and training opportunities as well as market access to local artists and crafters. Through its four retail shops in the Durban and Upper Highway area as well as the support of its local and international partners, Woza Moya currently enables over 1500 local artists and crafters to earn a sustainable income every month through the sale of their handmade, proudly South Africa products.
For more info on Woza Moya and HACT’s other economic empowerment projects, please visit www.hillaids.org.za or visit a Woza Moya shop near you today:
- Woza HACT – Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, 26 Old Main Road, Hillcrest
- Woza Embo – Embocraft Training Centre, 27 Old Main Road, Botha’s Hill
- Woza Kloof – Fields Shopping Centre, Old Main Road, Kloof
- Woza Windermere – Windermere Shopping Centre, 163 Lilian Ngoyi Road, Morningside, Durban