When 33- year-old Hombakazi Nqandeka struggled to find a job after completing her Master's degree, she did not allow this to deter her opting instead to turn her hobby into a handcraft business named Homba Crafts.
“When I went to Uganda for the first time in 2017, I saw a craft store that sold a lot of beads. I thought, ‘we do not have this in South Africa’ and it would be a great business move for me because I love making beads,” says Nqandeka who is originally from Xhora in the Eastern Cape.
At the time, Nqandeka was unemployed and had just completed her Master’s Degree in Agriculture.
When she came back from her enlightening trip from Uganda, she began sewing beads to accessorise stethoscopes, shoes, handbags, earrings, neck pieces, and hand and head bands. She also designs shweshwe scrubs for doctors.
“I looked for customers on social media and my business grew fast.”
Homba Crafts currently employs three women as casual workers.
Nqandeka explained that she often travels to East Africa, mostly to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, to place stock orders for beads.
“Homba Crafts has an advantage because it offers a unique range of combined beads from South Africa and East Africa. This keeps our customers interested.”
Apart from running Homba Crafts, Nqandeka is also pursuing her PhD in Health Science at the University of Stellenbosch.
Nqandeka would like to see her business grow even further and is currently raising funds to open an online store.
She also plans to open physical stores throughout South Africa to create more jobs and popularise beadwork as a fashionable art form.
Homba Crafts is available on Instagram @homba_crafts and on Facebook @Homba Crafts.