Africa! Ignite provides holistic support to about 1000 crafters across KwaZulu-Natal’s heartland with its broken terrain, poor infrastructure, very high unemployment and high incidence of HIV/AIDS. The rural craft organisations are groups of mostly women, who organise together to produce craftwork and access markets for their craft. These women are among hundreds of committed mothers and grandmothers in our network whose creativity, skill and selfless hard work support their families living in these rural areas.
We are increasingly expanding beyond KwaZulu-Natal, which is a South African province with very rich craft traditions, and which has provided Africa!Ignite with a learning platform from which to expand our impacts. For many women living in rural settings, craft is the first entry into the economy, as they use skills learnt from mothers and grandmothers, don’t need specialist equipment and can create craft products while tending their homesteads and looking after their families.
We sell the crafts produced by these crafters across various platforms i.e. our retail outlets at the Watershed in Cape Town, WOWZULU shop at Isandlwana, at our craft markets at the WOWZULU Marketplaces (see www.wowzulu.co.za), into local and international retail and wholesale markets and into the corporate market (refer to www.ignitedesign for our craft catalogue).