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Beader empowers unemployed women

Friday, 06 July 2018   (0 Comments)
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Yolisa Mathayo (above) attended the CDI's product of place workshop recently.

With crafting in her blood, Yolisa Mathayo now instils in local unemployed women creativity, artistic flair and sustainability.

Part of an artist development programme supported by the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association DLTA, this bead artist Yolisa has found a way to give back to her community.

She hosts informal workshops in her home, sharing her artistry with other women, and does training at a high school in Paarl. Mathayo believes, from experience, that people can make a living from exquisite beadwork and crafts.

Her journey started many years ago when she learned to crochet to earn an income. She quickly realised her extraordinary gift for creating her own patterns and started making and selling clothes and decor accessories.

"I looked at some patterns in crochet books and realised that I don't need a pattern I could do them in my head," Mathayo said.

"I quickly started getting orders and worked from the Ikwezi Centre in Paarl. "When a group of visiting German tourists asked me for beadwork, I realised this could be a good opportunity and taught myself to bead."

Also as part of a development programme sponsored by the Drakenstein Municipality, she attended a workshop hosted by the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) of South Africa.


Mathayo is looking at incorporating "proudly Paarl" influences in her beadwork. She even boasts having exhibited at the Grahamstown Arts Festival.

"You can definitely make a living from working with your hands, but you must be prepared to work hard," she points out.

Annelize Stroebel, general manager of the DTLA, says the artist development programme will be an ongoing and long-term project.

"Our aim is to help these artists to become self-sustaining by producing market relevant products," she says, "so we are at the beginning of an extended journey that will hopefully result in the establishment of successful small businesses for these programme participants."

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Article courtesy of Stellenbosch & Paarl Gazette  


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