For Busani Mnyandu using his hands for beading various accessories such as watches, ear-rings and necklaces is liberating and it allows him to express his artistic passion.
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) Public Relations and Communication Management third-year student said he began beading since he was 9 years old. “I was exposed to beading through my mother, who used to sell beaded accessories. When I was about 15 years old, I started beading and selling my own accessories. This also helped a great deal with pocket money,” he said.
In 2018 he started making beaded watches, and the demand for this product has been growing immensely. “To be honest I have been overwhelmed by the growing demand for beaded watches, and at times I don’t have time to work on the watches since I am still a full-time student,” said Mnyandu.
Due to the growing demand Mnyandu is now working with local women from his community in Bothas Hill and Amatata in order to meet the demand. “I also want to assist them with promoting their own products. I would like to uplift my community and have a platform where their work can also be showcased, and help them make a living,” he said.
The 23-yeard-old Mnyandu said he reaches the bulk of his clientele through social media and he plans to open an online platform where people can access his products.
The budding entrepreneur said he plans to focus on his business full-time once he completes his qualification at DUT.
“I have already engaged with DUT’s Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and they have encouraged me to formalise my business in order to access funding opportunities which can enable me to grow my business,” he said.
Mnyandu added that what sets him apart from other people who are producing beaded accessories is that his products are unique and neat. “I’m able to do customised products for my clients and that is what they like the most,” he added.
He also added that through his beaded products he wants to create a legacy that is linked to his heritage.
Meanwhile, DUT recently co-hosted the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Lekgotla where various stakeholders and experts met to discuss the evolution of entrepreneurship in Higher Education.
Pictured: Busani Mnyandu showcasing his beaded watches.