Product Stories

Zanele Beads, South Africa

Zanele and her sister Stella from Zimbabwe run a jewellery project which helps women gain empowerment through employment. The sisters teach their skills to women from the Ndebele people of the Nguni Tribe. Southern Ndebele people are known for their skilled artistry with house painting, beadwork and ornamentation. 

Originally, beadwork was done using seeds and grasses. Since the 1800’s, when Europeans introduced glass beads, the artform has been extended to include more intricate designs. Often, inspiration stems from colour and patterns from decorated houses. One necklace can take up to two days to make.