The Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation was established in 1994 by Elbé Coetsee.  She holds a PhD in social entrepreneurship and researched craft art businesses for the past 20 years. In 2002 she authored the definitive book, Craft Art in South Africa and a  follow up, Craft Art in South Africa: Creative Intersections is published in 2015. Coetsee undertakes product development, design and skills training and identifies markets for products, obtains orders, creating employment for rural craft artists. She strives to promote unique, high quality hand-made craft art products for local and export markets.

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Modikwa Shool drum majorettes at MCADF opening ceremony in 1994.
Artwork created during children’s art workshop, presented by Colbert Mashile and Philemon Hlungwani.
Annual aids awareness course, presented by Anne Harriss of London South Bank University.

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The Foundation specializes in the training of multiple skills – embroidery, bead work, candle making, sewing, basket weaving, weaving of the Zulu Mama (Haldane Martin) and Afra (Paola Lenti) chairs, pottery, basic computer literacy, practical first aid courses, AIDS awareness & care, children’s art workshops and basic principles of cultural tourism. Its projects focus on and invest in the culture and development of the creative skills of members of the local communities. The local communities benefit as a direct consequence of the Foundation’s activities and Mogalakwena Craft Art encourages self-respect and dignity of members of these communities.

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The mission of Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation is:

to create sustainable, value-adding employment opportunities for disadvantaged women in South Africa;
to promote traditional art and craft inherent in communities which have become dormant due to lack of infrastructure, lack of funding and lack of market opportunities;
to promote the restoration of craft art skills in communities and to enable more members of disadvantaged communities to become self-sufficient and less dependent on social grants and pensions;
to market craft art design products at outlets in selected South African and international locations;
to promote research with the aim to further not only the understanding and knowledge in the field of anthropology, ecology and social entrepeneurship in Africa, but also to establish a national and international awareness and appreciation of African culture.

 

During the past 20 years the Foundation pursued its mission with passion and created opportunities for its craft artists to interact with South African and international designers and to apply their creative skills to produce high quality craft art products. Since its establishment, the Foundation has trained more than 160 craft artists; held more than 50 craft art workshops and presented creative workshops to more than 180 pupils from local schools.