Sibongile Maseko: From artisan to production manager4 years ago
She is no stranger to the art and handcraft industry; having always been fully involved in doing something good with her hands. She was fortunate to be raised by a very hard working and dedicated women she called Gogo (grandmother). Sibongile Maseko is the Production Manager, a very loyal and soft spoken manager who can be trusted with everything. She is what I would describe as the epitome of a true African woman.
The mother of three beautiful children she lives in Mhlambanyatsi, a small village outside the capital city, with the family she treasures so dearly. She went to Beaconkop Primary School and completed her higher education at Mhlatane near Piggs Peak. While growing up she cared a lot for her mother and her grandmother, something which she is now teaching her own family. She wanted to be a nurse but the competition was too high and her results were not to the standard. It was a sad time for her as she couldn’t re-write her exams due to lack of funds. She was brought up with the money that her gogo earned from selling her handcrafted products and some which her mother earned through cleaning and doing household chores around her area.
She was never discouraged by her upbringing and money shortages and did her level best to go to college where she studied Secretarial. In order to afford the fees she got herself a job as a house helper. After completing college she joined a company called In-Spirit, where she was trained to make earrings using waste magazine papers. When this company closed she continued to make the earrings as a part time job, working for flotsam, the magazine distributors. From these humble beginnings Quazi design was formed. Sibongile was our primary artisan and is now our production manager. Without her we would not be where we are today.
Today she enjoys every single second of her work. She is growing with the company and wouldn’t trade it even for gold.
“This is my place. I am happy here. I had other jobs before but they are not comparable to this one. Through Quazi Design I am able to provide for my family and provide for our customers. They always come first to me and I make sure that we deliver on time. I always look forward to each day at work,” she said.
She enjoys meeting other women artisans outside Quazi in workshops or trainings, coming back she shares all she has learnt.
With her job she has managed to pay for her sons education, who is now at university in South Africa. Not only in her family and at work does she help everyone but also in her community where she is a Peer Educator and Community Developer. She is always there supporting everyone emotionally, physically and otherwise, always willing to roll up her sleeves and help out.
COMPILED BY ZITSILE MAZIYA