Story by Mhlomuli Ncube
HANDICRAFT has become a viable source of living for a group of 10 men and women from Hwange, who are using intergenerational skills passed from their forefathers.
Just next to the Bulawayo – Victoria Falls Highway in Dinde, men and women who carve wooden chairs and stools, and an assortment of artefacts are earning a living and fending for their families.
Their products inspired by local traditions are sold to passers-by turning the trade into a viable business.
It is not a skill attained academically, but from the local school of life, having grasped it from their forefathers.
Traders said, “We have been doing this for more than 10 years after forming a group, no we are able to sell our stuff and send our children to school, build our homes and buy what we need. This is our employment. Within the families we grew up in, a lot of our elders used to carve using wood. We realised that this is an important market with many who can support us hence we started selling our wares here.”
These wood carvers have chosen not to live on handouts by maximising local talent, thus building their lives through locally available resources.