Welcome to Usizo Africa , where we celebrate the beauty & culture of South Africa through our collection of handmade products. We are passionate about supporting local artisans .
We combine traditional & modern skills & techniques to create contemporary , fashionable & affordable jewellery. Each item is crafted with care ensuring quality & authenticity.
We work with a small group of ladies from the Valley of 1000 Hills area in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa .
These crafters come to Usizo HQ about once a week . They bring their finished work and then spend the day preparing the next batch of earrings to take home .
Being able to do work at home is a big bonus for them as it means that they don't have daily transport or childcare costs.
They say that they have the best of both worlds as they are able to be at home for most of the week- looking after their children and elderly family members, but also love their day spent at HQ where they get to chat to each other and enjoy a day on their own !
Meet some of our team :
With over 30 years of experience in South Africa's craft & curio industry, Usizo Africa owner Nicky Hughes understands the value of traditional craftsmanship & the significant role it plays in preserving cultural heritage while also providing economic opportunities for artisans .
Nicky works closely with these skilled crafters to modernise & expand their existing traditional skills and techniques to create marketable products which are sold in many beautiful fashion & gift boutique shops around South Africa & overseas, as well as Game lodges and Tourism destination shops around Southern Africa.
This is Thenjiwe . She has 2 children & her husband helps her making earrings for Usizo Africa. Thenjiwe & her mother Smabanda have worked with Nicky for over 25 years in various businesses.Her favourite food is Phuthu & she loves making all the Usizo Africa designs ! Thenjiwe is Usizo Africa's no.1 employee and is an absolute perfectionist .
Cynthia supports 6 adults as well as her own 2 children with the work that she does for Usizo Africa. She is 35 years old & her favourite meal is Beef & rice. Her sister Asanda helps her with the Usizo Africa work at home.
Lindiwe is 50 years old and has 2 Children. She supports 4 other adults at home with her work at Usizo Africa. Her favourite day of the week is when she spends the day at Usizo HQ as she loves seeing the other Usizo ladies. Her favourite food is Chicken & rice. When she has a lot of work to do, her sister Bhusi helps her at home.
Rose is our traditional Zulu Beadwork fundi and spends many hours working on new designs for the Usizo range .She has a sister & other family members at home who help with orders .
Usizo Africa is ever expanding and taking on more beadworkers every month . See the below photo's of more of our lovely ladies !
Thank you for your support & for being part of our journey !