Pot­ter moulds a brighter fu­ture

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Su­laiman Philip

as a young girl in Makhado, Lim­popo, Lil­lian Malange learnt the tra­di­tional art of clay pot mak­ing from her grand­mother and mother. To­day her com­pany, Rain­bow Mo­saic and Ce­ram­ics, ex­ports her pots around the world.

Us­ing the meth­ods that Venda women passed down to their daugh­ters, Malange started her busi­ness after win­ning Eskom’s Busi­ness In­vest­ment Com­pe­ti­tion. Us­ing peb­bles, mir­rors and the rich Venda clay, Malange show­cases Lim­popo’s nat­u­ral beauty to the out­side world.

For some in­ter­na­tional cus­tomers, Malange’s pots are im­por­tant keep­sakes and an in­tro­duc­tion to the beauty of the coun­try. “In 2013 when Nel­son Man­dela died, I was in Italy. I had stock worth R18 000 and it sold out im­me­di­ately.”

Of­fer­ing some­thing au­then­tic

In a part of the coun­try without many eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties, Malange and the women she has trained are ben­e­fit­ting from the in­crease in tourism to this of­ten over­looked part of the world. “Tourism is grow­ing in Lim­popo. South Africans and many oth­ers are learn­ing that there is so much more to see and ex­pe­ri­ence across the prov­ince and my busi­ness of­fers them some­thing au­then­tic

and mod­ern from their time in Lim­popo.”

Her in­tri­cate and tra­di­tional pots are sold in China, Italy, Botswana, Por­tu­gal, Zim­babwe and Amer­ica. Malange’s com­pany is one of the Eskom em­pow­er­ment pro­gramme’s big­gest suc­cesses. That Malange is able to ex­port and show off Lim­popo’s nat­u­ral beauty is a direct re­sult of her win­ning the power util­ity’s in­vest­ment com­pe­ti­tion.

For the util­ity’s Devel­op­ment Foun­da­tion, giv­ing small busi­nesses like Rain­bow a help­ing hand makes per­fect sense. As the foun­da­tion’s act­ing CEO Ce­cil Ra­monotsi ex­plains, “Small black-owned busi­nesses can make a big dif­fer­ence to our econ­omy. By en­abling th­ese busi­nesses to cre­ate prod­ucts and ser­vices that will strengthen lo­cal economies, we can help small busi­nesses un­lock eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties and con­trib­ute to in­clu­sive growth.”

Malange be­lieves that it is her re­spon­si­bil­ity to share her good for­tune with her com­mu­nity. Be­sides teach­ing ce­ram­ics to women, who then earn a liv­ing mak­ing pots, Malange hosts chil­dren after school and dur­ing school hol­i­days. “It would be nice if Eskom could help me set up a stu­dio so I can teach chil­dren to cre­ate their own art­work.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.