TAKE IT IN FIVE
By: Sbongakonke Mbatha
Five minutes is all it takes for you to have a bracelet embroidered with your name on it. This handmade craft is hard to believe until you witness it. Ferrari Muzeza, a street vendor, has mastered this talent.
“I learnt to do this while I was still in my mother’s womb, in other words it is in my blood. I was born with it,” said Muzeza.
This opinionated Rastafarian young man, who represents a mix of Zimbabwean and Ghanaian origins, travelled all the way from Cape Town to come and promote his art at this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Ferrari says his interest in the arts began when he was a little boy.
“It all started when I was young. I used to make wire cars for my friends and then I got interested in the art, so I just improved my skill as I grew older,” said Muzeza.
While many would hesitate to stop and buy the bracelet for R50 without guarantees, Ferrari is confident that his craft is not just attractive but also genuinely strong. He believes that he uses quality material.
“My craft is authentic and strong. I buy my strings in Cape Town. These strings are made of wax and nylon. One string can carry up to a 100 kg, so when I make your bracelet you must know that it will last for up to 10 years or more because the wax protects it from water. It is safe to bath, wash and swim with. The wax string protects the bracelet from the sun so that the colours do not fade away,” said Muzeza.
He uses thick plastic, and cuts it into slim portions for it to bend around the wrist.He doesn’t use the same material or the same colours for every bracelet.
Every customer is at liberty to choose their preferred colour, string texture and the preferred name they want embroidered on their bracelet.
“I usually charge people R100 per bracelet in Cape Town but during festivals and freelance exhibits by the beach I charge R50 simply because unlike Cape Town, such locations are usually very busy with buyers. Best grab them with half the price,” said Muzeza.
For the National Arts Festival, Muzeza used a 12-year-old tree near the bus stop as his stall to exhibit all his art which is a variety of bracelets and ornaments made out of cans.
Through handmade art, Muzeza has made a name for himself.
He currently has his own art store in Long St., Cape Town, one which he hopes to expand into a business big enough to employ and groom young talents.
“I want to do more fine art and reach out to the community by teaching the young how to earn a living through hand craft. Through dedication, passion and hard work they will do it as fast I can,” said Muzeza.