Passion for art drives street seller

2019-04-11 06:01
Francis Wamunyu (black tshirt) together with his sales man Luthanda Guma.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Francis Wamunyu (black tshirt) together with his sales man Luthanda Guma.PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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A Kenyan man Francis Wamunyu who is selling his craft on the road side in Langa said passion and dedication are what keeps him going. He said he has been selling his art work under a tree along Rhodes Street for seven years.

Wamunyu who is affectionately known as “Mamba” by his friends in the area said he has been in the country for 14 years.

“Art is the only thing I know. I learnt about it back in Kenya. When I arrived in South Africa I was selling my hand work at Green Market in Cape Town for seven years. But because of high rent in the City I decided to move to Langa,” he said.

The diligent man said he tried his luck at Guga S’thebe Cultural Centre for a place to rent but his request was turned down cited that it is full. “That didn’t bother me. I looked for a convenient place to sell my stuff. I decided to open my business here because this street is one of the routes the tourists use when they are visiting Langa,” he said.

Some of the things that he is selling are wooden spoons, paintings, necklaces, fridge magnets, key holders, bottle top radios and plastic bags. He said the prices range from R50 to R1200. However, he said sometimes he lowers the prices for the local customers.

“We are open from Monday to Saturday from 06:30 until 16:00. And on Sunday we are open from 06:30 till 13:00,” said Wamunyu.

He cited tour guides and winter rains as their main challenges.

“During the winter season we struggle a lot. I have to put a sail to cover my stall. And also I have to be friendly with the tour guides so that they can bring tourists to my stall. If you don’t see eye to eye with the tour guides they will ensure that tourists do not come to buy or force them not to pass by,” he said.

Wamunyu has hired three people to assist him.

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