Project Description

Artist Profile


Born in Mount Fletcher in Eastern Cape, South Africa.

I have three children 25 years old, 15 years old and 8 years old. I came to Cape Town in the late 90’s to seek a job. My mother worked for Barbara Jackson then Monkeybiz started in the year 2000. My mother taught us how to bead then we also joined the project.

Let’s hear from Babalwa:

How did your life change since you joined Monkeybiz?

My life changed so much. I was unemployed with no income, but now with my beadwork I’m able to provide for my children and send them to school. I also like the fact that it keeps me busy while I’m alone during the day and the kids are at school.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I did have work based in homes under an agent, but unfortunately the agent moved and I started to focus more on my beadwork.

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?

My mother was very strict and always busy. She always wanted us around to help her in the house and she never gave us time to be with friends.

Babalwa Mgutsi

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