The township of eMbali in the Msunduzi Municipality was a hive of activity this weekend as thousands of people from across the Province took part in the annual Festival of Beads. This event, which was hosted on Saturday, 17 October, is spearheaded by the department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) under the leadership of MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has benefited over 300 rural women who make the bead work that is displayed during the festival.
According to Dube-Ncube this programme is part of her department’s efforts to support strong local economic development initiatives that are focused on uplifting the lives women in rural communities. “When we launched this programme in 2013 we understood that the rural women that make the bead work would get access to bigger markets as we see thousands of people turn up to be part of our main events where we showcase the bead work” said Dube-Ncube.
This year’s event saw 5000 people taking part and winners walking away with R375 000 in cash prizes. These monies will be ploughed straight back into the co-operatives which the winners represent.
The MEC for the Department of Art, Culture, Sports and Recreated who was also in attendance commended the participants who come from as far afield as Zululand to be part of the festivities and showcase their work.