Wired for World Cup: bead artist aims to score big bucks … but there’s a snag

2010-03-23 00:00

WITH three months left before the 2010 World Cup kicks off, Ali Agushito (34) is preparing to make big bucks.

The Zimbabwean, who came to South Africa three years ago to set up his small business, makes animals, soccer stars and even stadiums out of beads and wire.

“I grew up drawing and making wire cars, and people liked them and ordered my products. That’s how I started,” he told The Witness.

It has been four years since Agushito began his crafting journey, and he has been selling his creations at the corner of College and New Scotland roads in Pietermaritzburg for a year.

Agushito hopes football tourists will like his work. They can buy a soccer star lookalike or a stadium for between R400 and R650.

Despite fair demand for his creations of international footballers such as Kaka and Ronaldo, Bafana Bafana stars “sell faster”.

Referring to the ups and downs of business, Agushito said sales last year were satisfying — until he read about the recession in the media. “Few people were buying my products,” he said. But nowadays sales are picking up. As the recession fades, Agushito has other problems to tackle ahead of the World Cup.

It’s all about production and distribution. It takes up to three days to complete one of his creations. Although his brother helps with production, he believes his supply will not match demand. “I don’t know how I will get my products close to World Cup activities,” he said. He also does not have access to channels to market his work.

Agushito calls for anybody willing to support his business in any way to contact him at 078 287 5052.

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