Giving Back

September 14, 2018

AndBanana Cape Town Team

My favourite activity besides creating, is giving back...

Working at And Banana 1

We (hubby and I) started Ethno Bongo, a unique craft store 20 years ago in Hout Bay, a picturesque fishing village outside Cape Town.

And banana production

The vast availability of organic materials in South Africa provides boundless creative ideas and we have been stocking our store with innovative products for all these years. 

Palm and textile trophies

I noticed that African jewellery was a little too traditional for the European tourist market and I started the ‘Dolce & Banana’ brand….(with its own funny story!) creating jewellery using shells and local gemstones in more muted tones but keeping the African flair.

Working at AndBanana

Appreciation of the handmade in our over industrialised world is welcome in a country where unemployment is so high. Imizamo Yethu is an informal settlement in Hout Bay where most residents with basic education and no formal skills struggle to find work. I soon had a team of ladies eager to learn and it was the start of a successful partnership still going strong today with a team of three ladies with enough practice to work on their own from their homes. They visit the workshop once a week during the busy season to bring their work and get materials for new orders.
During these 20 years I have trained a great number of young ladies. Some went on to other things and often visit, which makes me think proudly that they value their time with me and have learnt a few things they will hopefully also pass on. 

Hand Eye Magazine published a lovely article on our story.

Working at Andbanana 2

I recently created other products using off cuts of local textiles. Inspired by the re-cycle movement and in particular by Romuald Hazoume we are making contemporary African masks from Jerrycans. This was picked up by a famous French Gallery As’Art Maison et Objet and a Hotel design consultancy in Paris.

Mask Display Paris

Still using  fabric remnants and  palm fronds found in Hout Bay, we are now making ‘no-hunting trophies’ of wild African animals and we just fulfilled our last order going to As’ART in Paris.

AndBanana Elephant 1AndBanana Elephant 1AndBanana Antilope 1

AndBanana Wilderbeest 2AndBanana Wilderbeest 1AndBanana Antilope 1

From traditional to trendy the South African craft has become a lucrative export trade. My next ambition would be to offer skill development in needing areas through workshops providing employment whilst growing the &Banana brand.

 







Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in &banana

&Banana Necklace
Shell Jewellery

September 07, 2018

Being in Cape Town we are evidently inspired by the ocean, Abalone called Perloemoen in South Africa is our number one choice as its iridescence makes wonderful jewellery… organic bling if you wish! We often pair it with wooden beads, seed beads, gemstones or even textiles.

View full article →

Why &Banana?
Why &Banana?

August 31, 2018

I often get asked, "Why the name '...&Banana' "? ... it's a funny story!

View full article →

Romuald Hazoume African Mask
Inspiration from Romuald Hazoumé

August 24, 2018

Africa is a well of ingenuity and I am inspired by its extraordinary ability to re-cycle in the name of necessity as well as in the name of Art.

View full article →