FEVER reporter Kalisha Naicker recently chatted to Nozipho Zulu of ZuluGal Retro, whose project benefits people with special needs by training them to produce hand crafted fashion accessories using up-cycled chip wrappers, plastic and beads. Kalisha Naicker [KN]: Tell me a little about yourself? Nozipho Zulu [NZ]: I am a Fine Artist by profession. I have worked in the arts and craft industry for over nine years and I have always believed in using arts and craft to solve social problems. KN: Can you share some details about your initiative with the readers? NZ: This Durban-based business produces up-cycled handbags and fashion accessories made by differently-abled individuals and their caregivers. I combine my background in Fine Art and business to produce products and support the move towards sustainable fashion while creating job opportunities for differently-abled youth and their caregivers. ZuluGal Retro offers a range of handcrafted fashion accessories that are creatively produced by unemployed differently-abled youth and their caregivers from Durban Townships. KN: Why did you decide to start this initiative? NZ: The launch of ZuluGal Retro in 2016 was fueled by the realisation that a number of differently-abled youth cannot further their studies due to the nature of their learning difficulties. They ended up joining a large pool of unemployed youth with no prospect for a brighter future. Even more disturbing was discovering that guardians who fulfilled a crucial role of fulltime caregivers also remained unemployed. KN: What motivates you? NZ: I enjoy exploring creativity and innovation. KN: What is your goal in life? NZ: To continuously drive creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in visual art, craft and design. KN: Do you live by a motto? NZ: Yes. The sky is the limit! KN: How do you juggle your work, family life and giving back to the community? NZ: I plan my week accordingly but it’s not always easy to juggle everything as I am also studying. KN: What message would you like to pass onto the community? NZ: Opportunity does not knock twice on the same door. You are the change you have been waiting for. Use your resources, knowledge and skills right now, you won’t know if you can do it until you try.