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Description: Ceramic artists Barbara Jackson and Shirley Fintz, passionate collectors of African beadwork and art have facilitated a revival of an ancient beading tradition in Southern Africa. Together with Mathapelo Ngaka, they made their dream come true. A desire to create employment and empowerment for disadvantaged women in Cape Town has led to the creation of "MONKEYBIZ"

Monkeybiz supplies richly coloured glass beads to women in the townships of Cape Town. The 450 women involved in the project are currently producing exquisite hand beaded artworks - each a unique one-off creation. The women are paid for each piece they produce; and since they work from home, can look after their families and avoid transport costs. The beaded works are creating a sensation wherever they appear - locally and abroad.

Historically, bead work, in a South African context, has been the domain of women largely within the Xhosa, Zulu, Ndebele and Sotho communities. The women are introduced to the craft directly through their mothers, grandmothers and other women in the community.

MonkeyBiz is a non-profit organisation - all profits go back into the communities via payment for bead art and the provision of community services.

Submitted: 07/31/10 (Edited 07/31/10)
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