73 x 56cm
Acrylic on canvas
In 2020, I went back up to the community of KwaJobe with Sizah Mtshali. Sizah and I began working with the groups in 2016, and whenever an opportunity presents itself, we head back up there. We were deeply concerned at how Covid would have impacted on the livelihoods of the crafters.
It was a very different type of meeting. The group was smaller, and there was little craft to be seen. With no outlet for craft locally, as game reserves and game lodges were closed, the women had no one to sell their products too. Travel restrictions put an end to weekend travellers who would pass the craft stalls on the R22.
Where are the others? we ask.
‘They are coming,’ said Ma Themba.
‘No,’ said Ma Eunice. ‘They are in the fields. There are vegetables to harvest.’
During lockdown, the women were able to secure a small contract supplying vegetables to the SPAR in Jozini. KwaJobe is situated in iSimangaliso, and with its rich and fertile soils, vegetables grown abundantly.