Unique crafts at Zasekhaya

17 March 2008

Unique South African crafts are on sale at the monthly Zasekhaya Market in Newtown, Johannesburg. And we’re not talking carved hippos and giraffes – Zasekhaya items are one-of-a-kind, from funky fashion to mosaic mirrors and handmade paper.

Zasekhaya is a non-profit organisation that focuses on training people who are unemployed to sell their handmade crafts. The main objective of the market is to provide a platform for local, talented students and crafters to showcase and sell their work. It is also an opportunity for new artists to network.

According to Zasekhaya Market’s website, the market “was born out of a realisation that creative skills training alone is not enough to make a difference in the lives of the disadvantaged youth and other South Africans attempting to make a living from the artistic sector.

“The market offers space for mentoring, product development, business experience, interaction with fellow crafters/artists and interaction with consumers.”

Zasekhaya specialises in a variety of South African craft products, ranging from visual arts, photography and prints to crafts, fashion, decor and designer ware. And the market is truly South African – only locally made products are sold.

Among its stallholders are Abegail Mfokazi, who designs and makes handbags from recycled cans; Andy Krick from Imbali, who specialises in quilts; Steven Holt from the craft centre at the Trevor Huddleston Memorial Centre in Sophiatown; and Susan Haycock from Intuthuko Embroiderers.

According to the organisers, the market has grown substantially since it was started in 2004. Eunice Mothetho-rooi, the operations manager, says it is attracting increasing numbers of international and local tourists.

A children’s entertainment section – featuring creative workshops, jumping castles and jugglers – caters for those parents who need somewhere safe and fun to leave their kids while they do their browsing and shopping in peace. There is also a coffee shop and several food stalls selling a variety of tasty items. Music and entertainers add to the atmosphere.

Zasekhaya Market takes place from 10am to 4pm on the last Saturday of every month at the Bus Factory in President Street, Newtown. Secure parking is available at the front and back of the Bus Factory.

For more information, and to inquire about renting stalls, phone Eunice Mothetho-rooi on 011 833 3329.

Source: City of Johannesburg