Craftsman inspired by teacher

2017-02-02 06:02
Sizwe Shumane, 29, is making craft out of waste, in Mfuleni.  PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Sizwe Shumane, 29, is making craft out of waste, in Mfuleni. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Sizwe Shumane is turning trash into cash, literally speaking.

Shumane,29, from Extension 6 in Mfuleni is crafting a living out of waste or throw away material.

He moulds plastic into pieces of art, ranging from sea animals, reptiles, birds, chickens and bull heads. He walks the streets of the township collecting the material for his craft.

He has not always been a craftsman.

Shumane arrived in the Mother City in 2010 to work for his brother, who was in the construction industry. He started in 2010 and he is planning to register his business as Skhalo Roots.

But in 2013 the relationship turned sour and he lost his job.

As he hit the streets looking for a job, the words of a former high school teachers came back to his head and inspired him to be self-reliant.

The teacher, a Mr Bhaduza, taught him in Grade 9, at Walaza Junior Secondary School in Sterkspruit, in the Eastern Cape where he grew-up, he said..

“Mr Bhaduza once told us in class that we can turn waste material into a beautiful craft. I did not take that advice to heart then, but it rang a bell in my mind after I became unemployed again.

I am happy that I took a decision to start my own business and I believe it is a good thing to do.

For now I still have the challenge of attracting more customers.

There are only few customers who buy my craft, but I am optimistic that it will one day grow big.

I am able to pay rent and put something on the table with the money that I generate from my craft,” Shumane said.

He sells his craft as a vendor next to Mfuleni High School and sometimes in Muizenberg.

“I have dreams of selling my craft to as far as overseas countries and to tourists.”

Shumane also said he has recently started teaching children from the area to do craft using waste material.

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