A Beadworker Who Dreams of Alleviating Township Poverty
BYLINE: SIMPHIWE MAGONGO
DEANE SKENJANA is a beadwork maker who lives in Khayelitsha. Her dream is to alleviate poverty in all the townships of South Africa through beading and crafting.
"I fell in love with beading when I was a young girl" says Skenjana. She was born in 1963 in Tsomo, a small town in the Eastern Cape. Before beading, she used to draw patterns on paper, and when she moved to Cape Town in 1982 she discovered she could translate them into beads.
Skenjana's first beaded pattern-work was made as gifts for a family friend. After she had made a few patterns, people began paying more and more attention to her work, and many bought her creations.
Today Skenjana specialises in making promotional products, which include tin mugs with a company's logo expertly rendered in beads. These mugs are used as pen holders on office desks.
In 1999, Skenjana opened her own business, which is called, Siyazama (we are trying). She began her bead enterprise with two people assisting her, and started training a number of others in Khayelitsha in the craft of beading.
In 2000 Skenjana was appointed by the City of Cape Town to be part of the Kuyakhanya Projects. …