In her far away home in the little village of Empembeni, beyond Hlabisa in Zululand, Angeline Masuku sits alongside the bed of her cerebral-palsied son and weaves baskets of magic.
Her materials are the standard ukhasi grass and ilala palm, dyed with indigenous plants to give them vibrant colour.Â Purple and grey from the nearby clumps of impekambedu, tan from the fruit of the mqandani tree, and pitch black from the bark of the mdoni boiled with the leaves of the mthombothi.Â She learnt to weave from her aunt and started at the age of eight, as did her four sisters.Â But Angelineâ€™s clever fingers have helped her to outstrip her peers; in 2007 she won the FNB Vita Award, which catapulted her to world notice.Â Since 2006 she has exhibited overseas regularly and won many awards there as well.
She gets her inspiration from the ordinary world around her â€“ the chickens roosting in the trees, the cattle, goats, dogs and people â���“ and translates them into the delightful stylised figures that make her work so original.Â A down to earth and practical woman, Angeline takes pleasure in her community and her family.Â But there is another side to this shy and charming person â€“ a drive to build a professional career out of her art that includes dreams of an office, a computer to connect her to her customers all over the world, and a car to transport baskets and to get her to the airport for her many trips overseas.Â One of the few crafters to possess excellent business sense, Angeline is the epitome of what the modern crafter needs to be.
- SheUses ukhasi grass as foundation.
- She does her own dyeing from plants bought at the Mona Market
- She buys Ilala and grass from Mona Market and Ilala from Mhlabayalingana
- Her aunt taught her to weave when she was 8 years old
- She knew Reuben Ndwandwe
- She has 4 sisters who all weave
- She went to Italy first, then to New York in 2006, organised by Tradepoint
- It takes two months to weave one of her big baskets
- Her ambition is to have her own office with a computer and a car.
She has ambitions to work at big craft fairs all over the world.
Born 1967 in Hlabisa
Full name Angeline Bonisiwe Masuku
4 children â€“ Siya, Lugundu, Sthembiso, Nokukhanya.Â Handicapped son, 20 years old.