Senzokuhle Wire Baskets took its first steps in 2002 as a sister company to Wezandla Crafts, a project started in 1996 which employs Zulu women and combats poverty in rural Kwazulu-Natal.
Senzokuhle’s aim was to provide work for the men of this same community, who would then not have to travel hundreds of kilometres away from their homes and families in order to find employment in towns and cities.
Traditionally, baskets were woven from grass, but in the 1960s migrant miners in the cities, far away from the grasslands of Kwazulu Natal, began to weave with pieces of wire, and the art of telephone wire weaving was born.
Basket-weaving has become a well-known source of income in the area and many support their families with this money. Some men have taken this opportunity to earn money to pay lobola, the bride price which is required of them in the form of cattle. Many weavers use this income to improve their standard of living by building new huts, buying furniture, clothes, and often cell phones, radios and TVs. Some of the younger crafters are even using the money to put themselves, and sometimes their younger siblings, through school. And women have now been trained to weave too.