The Changana ladies at Chief Mahenye’s village have a strong tradition of beading…. Look at these deeply gathered skirts that they embellish with numerous seed beads…
NOTE: excerpt from my blog on our May visit to London , to the Tusk Trust Anniversary dinner, where I wore a green dress embellished by beading from our Mahenye Ladies beading Project, and the beads were much noticed…well done ladies….
The Mahenye Charitable Trust (MCT) in collaboration with HIFA (Harare International Festival of the Arts) sponsored the Mahenye Beading Project from the 23rd to the 28th of February 2015. Eleven Mahenye women participated in an intensive training program where a regional bead expert from Durban in South African, and a local fashion designer assisted in modernizing the local tradition with marketable products that will be shown and marketed at HIFA from the 29TH April to 4th May this year.
The MCT provided the seed capital to purchase the raw materials which Jane Parsons from HIFA, provided for the training. HIFA has placed an order which will be purchased from the Mahenye Beading Club which should cover the cost of the loan from MCT and provide capital to start a sustainable Micro Village Industry, empowering the local Mahenye women to become self-sufficient in supporting and improving their family livelihoods.
Susan Sithole who represented the Mahenye community at last year’s HIFA, will be accompanied by one other lady in attending HIFA 2015, where on the 29th April there will be a beading fashion show, show-casing three countries, South Africa, Ghana and Zimbabwe. The Mahenye production will represent Zimbabwe in this prestigious event. Very exciting!
The Chilo Team would like to express their gratitude to Jane, Hlengiwe, Colin and Manuel for their support, enthusiasm and guidance in developing this opportunity for the women of Mahenye to strengthen,and benefit from, their cultural values and traditions.
HIFA is a 6-day annual festival and workshop programme that showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festival programme of theatre,dance, music, circus, street performance, fashion, spoken word and visual arts. HIFA has come to be seen as an important symbol of something positive about Zimbabwe, unifying socially and culturally disparate groups of Zimbabweans at a time of ideological conflict and political uncertainty bringing huge audiences together to celebrate something positive – the healing and constructive capacity of the arts.