Beading Workshops Galore

Zimele's visiting bead craft artisans from KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, were kept busy during their visit in March 2015. Nozipho Zondi and Shonaphi Sibisi ran 8 workshops in total, teaching daisy chain bracelets and necklaces, multi strand necklaces and house keyrings to a range of students.

Crafty Women, a joint initiative between Monmouthshire Housing Association (MHA) and Arts Alive Wales to address isolation and create community connections, was the first host. The group made daisy chain necklaces and were wonderfully patient whilst Nozipho and Shonaphi threaded their fine beading needles! Important lesson learned for running workshops- pre-thread the needles!

Next we visited Cantref Primary School to spend the afternoon with Year 4. The children were brilliantly and quickly grasped the technique to make elasticated daisy chain bracelets.

On Wednesday 18th March we spent the morning with Abergavenny Community Enterprise (ACE) where workshop participants tackled the complex Zimele house keyrings.

Stitch Together Abergavenny hosted Nozipho and Shonaphi on Thursday morning where daisy chain necklaces were again the order of the day.


Thursday evening was spent in the stunning venue of Abergavenny Museum where we were lucky to have a private viewing of some of the Museum's collection of beadwork. Our thanks also go to Cath Barton for providing the delicious canapes. The workshop was a great success with some participants getting further than others with their multi-strand necklace. Everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable evening regardless, and beads were taken home to finish these stunning necklaces.

On Friday we returned to Cantref Primary School where Year 6 proved to be equally adept at making daisy chain bracelets. After beading, the children spent an informative half hour chatting to Nozipho and Shonaphi about life in their communities and for their children, as well as looking at where they live on google maps. Nozipho's home. Shonaphi's home.

On Saturday Nozipho and Shonaphi ran morning and afternoon workshops at Izwa, Zimele's day of Culture and Crafts @ the Castle.

Our thanks go to Wales Africa Community Links for their support in making this skill and cultural exchange visit possible.