Nokuzola Ncudu


Nokuzola Ncudu is an OBC crafter who works from the Dakawa Craft Center near Grahamstown in South Africa. She was born in 1967 in Seven Fountains, a small farming settlement outside Grahamstown.

Nokuzola has only four years of farm school education. She never married and has four children, who range in age from two to 17 years. When her sister died of HIV/AIDS, Nokuzola also took in her two young nieces, aged three and four.

In 1999, Nokuzola learned beading at the Dakawa Craft Center. Prior to that, she sewed traditional clothes and made mats, skills passed on to her by her grandmother. When the Dakawa Craft Center closed in 2000, she was able to earn small amounts of money working as a car guard for local pub in Grahamstown. She would start work late in the afternoon, and finish when the pub closed in the early hours of the following morning. Despite these hours there was no guarantee of earning enough money to cover transportation back to her home, some 17 kilometers away, in the Hlanlani Squatter camp on the outskirts of the local township.

Like most people living in informal settlements, Nokuzola’s house was constructed from materials found in the area, mud, sticks and corrugated tin sheets for a roof. It consists of only two rooms, a living room and bedroom.

When we first me her, she owned a bed and a table. Her immediate ambition was to buy a cupboard and extend her home so she and her children could live more comfortably. With the income she now makes from crafting bracelets, she is able to create a better life for herself and her extended family.

Nokuzola works as part of the Dakawa Craft Center team – which was resurrected by the Orphan Bracelet Campaign. This group currently operates out of a two room hut in the Hlanlani township.

By buying a bracelet or donating to the OBC you help us keep our crafting programme alive. This programme has improved the lives of countless women and children.

Nokuzola – Traditional Beading