Thursday, October 30, 2014

South African Feature Artist Organisation: Wola Nani

To finish our virtual tour of South Africa we are very excited to feature the South African organisation, Wola Nani. Not only is this organisation
Shwe papier-mâché bowl by Wola Nani
providing an exceptional framework for those in need of help, but their crafters are also creating absolutely stunning hand-made works!

Translated from Xhosa to English, Wola Nani means “we embrace and develop one another,” and there truly couldn’t be a more apt name for this wonderful organisation. Wola Nani was founded in 1994 by human rights activist, Gary Lamont, with the intention of helping people from very poor communities within the Western Cape living with HIV and AIDS. Lamont spokeof the initial need for Wola Nani:
“We wanted to open the door for a bit more justice to come in. After the 1994 elections HIV became the issue. [...] But for South African black women and children, they had nothing. They were poor, illiterate, lacked transport and had no real community in the townships as they had come from rural areas. They were nowhere near having ‘a voice’. We wanted to provide services for those who couldn’t help themselves. It was a physical expression of the new South Africa. We were on a roll from the end of apartheid – altruistic, energetic and full of ideas.” 
Wola Nani is now celebrating their 20th anniversary, which makes them one of the oldest non-governmental organisations in Cape Town to consistently provide assistance to in-need women and children of the area. The beautiful thing about this organisation is that it allows these women and children from very poor communities living with HIV and AIDS the opportunity to provide shelter and education, as well as the technical expertise, which helps in the exporting of Wola Nani’s creative products.


Wola Nani’s crafters produce a wide range of exceptional and lovingly crafted hand-made products, from recycled papier-mâché bowls to intricate beadwork and recycled paper jewelry. Be sure to check out our full range over at Robin Street Market!
Papier-mâché bin by Wola Nani