On the sunny veranda of red-framed house in Smutsville, a group of local women which make up Vukani Beading Group sat gathered around a table chatting idly while stringing together tiny ,multi coloured beads. You sit down amongst them, admiring their overflowing baskets of beaded creations, traditional style necklace ,bracelets and what hippies have dubbed, “the barefoot sandals”[a decorative foot adornment.
The work done by the bead artisans is a diverse of design and some boast suite complex bead work that take many, many hours to complete. While this craft requires a certain mindfulness and good dose of patience, the women all agree ,that it is both meditative and extreme rewarding, several of us are unable to work due to certain health issues .The beading group is helping us not to only generate income for ourselves and our families, but when we get together we tend to forget about troubles.
We were taught the craft of making beaded necklaces by a passionate Swiss local Marianne Dobrautz,and initially is served merely as a way for some of these women to pass our free time productively. Long before we ha mustard this traditional craft and the bug had beaten. We decided to call our group Vukani, which means ‘;WAKE UP” in both Zulu and Xhosa languages.
The inspirational women which make up Vukani Beading Group include Marvis Krwetshe, Sarah Davids, Sylvia Zonciani, Sophie Nguma and none other than Michelle Lencoe.