Skillful blind man keeps Shangani tradition alive

news-image

By Walter Mafeking in Chikombedzi, Zimbabwe

A visually handicapped man is making giant strides in
preserving an ancient art of making traditional artifacts out of reeds
that was an integral part of the VaTsonga (Shangani) culture.

Justin Chirhilele, a 49-year-old man, knows how to skillfully turn reeds
into various attractive products ranging from traditional hats to
winnowing baskets.

These are very attractive to look at.

“Making such products is very important as it shows how creative and
skillful we are as the Shangani.

“This also helps us to preserve our traditional culture as well as
promoting it among ourselves,” said the skilled craftsman who is married
to Tsatsawani Ndlovu.

His beautiful wares were a major attraction at the ongoing annual Great
Limpopo Cultural Trade fair that started in Boli-Mhlanguleni on
Wednesday.

Apart from promoting culture, Chirilele is making a living through
selling the products and being visually handicapped will not distract
him from keeping alive the traditions of his ancestors and making money.

“I became blind in the year 2015 but this did not stop me from
continuing weaving various products.

“This work is now helping me to make money as I sell these products and
earn a living,” added Chirhilele, who is blessed with three kids.

- CAJ News.

 



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