Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
BULAWAYO-based fine artist Bongiwe ‘Bongy’ Ndlovu says the Covid-19 pandemic has showed her the importance of formalising one’s business and seeking financial knowledge.
The 29-year-old who handicrafts beaded macrame bags and accessories using bamboo beads, crystal beads, plastic beads and a touch of leather said she was greatly affected at the beginning of the lockdown, as she found herself stranded as she could not conduct her business.
“In the initial stages of the lockdown, I made no sales and this had a strain on my brand which I was hoping to officially launch. But I had time to introspect my personal life as well as the business side of my art and I realised I needed to engage in financial literacy and business management which I did. This has led me to develop a strategy and a working system as well,” said Bongy.
Having acquired financial literacy skills, Bongy who was featured on last month’s edition of Mu Nhanga (a women’s business directory), said she is now targeting to spread her wings globally.
“I sell most of my stuff locally and in South Africa,” she said.
“I’ve also had a few sales in the UK and Canada. The pandemic has been a learning curve and it’s made me set my eyes on taking my business to other countries in Africa and worldwide.”
She said she has had to improvise in sourcing raw materials which she previously sourced from Tanzania and South Africa.
“I used to source material from Tanzania and South Africa, but due to the pandemic, there’s been limited movement which has translated to limited sales. Closed borders mean I can’t get raw materials in bulk and at a reasonable price as well.
“Through my financial knowledge skills, I have had to try to balance the price considering how the pandemic has had a negative impact on economies globally,” she said. – @mthabisi_mthire.