Embroidered tales of daily life
Mogalakwena is a beautiful and social family-run business with foundations in Limpopo province in South Africa. It provides employment to many inhabitants of the roughly 50 villages in this remote area, which is rich in culture and nature. The Craft Art Centre, the Artist Retreat, the Craft Art Development Foundation, the Mogalakwena River Lodge in the nature reserve and the Conservancy and Ecology Research Centre. There are Mogalakwena studios in the Stables – Montebello Craft & Design Centre in Newlands (Cape Town) and in Cape Connection in Pretoria East. Botanica Natural Products is a new branch of this family tree.
Dr. Elbé Coetsee
is the founder and pivotal figure of this whole network. She promotes ‘craft
art’ (handicraft) and social entrepreneurship in South Africa. She has written
two books: ‘Craft Art in South Africa’ (2002) and ‘Craft Art in South Africa:
Creative Intersections’ (2015).
You can read the wonderful article ‘Weaving Culture’ from a 2012 issue of HandEye magazine. In this, Elbé Coetsee tells the story of Mogalakwena. Note: there is an error in the formatting of this article; the following lines should be in the third-last paragraph: ‘Mogalakwena Craft Art continues to grow and develop. We weave traditional and contemporary baskets for Italian designer, Paolo Lenti. We embroider and bead traditional and contemporary works, and collaborate with local and international artists and designers.’
For more, see the Mogalakwena website. And don’t forget to check out the products page. If you live in the Netherlands and would like to buy (privately) or purchase and/or sell (as a company) Mogalakwena products, please feel free to contact us. A visit to Mogalakwena in Limpopo or either Cape Town or Pretoria is very worthwhile.
Most pictures were taken at Mogalakwena in Limpopo during the iZArte Art Tour in September 2018.