The Artisan is someone who uses his or her traditional or learned skills to make either bespoke produces or produces a range of products that are sold into the consumer market, via markets, boutiques or smaller stores. Not to be confused mass produced or on the other hand Craft as Art.
Makesa is an online portal providing for the recognition and development of South African Artisanal community. The problem is that this very new country is a rather culturally confused; South Africa does not know what it is. An ex British colony where it provided raw materials to the feed the Great Industrial Revolution and was a market for the beneficiated finished products, but was to say it lightly; discouraged from making products from its raw materials.
Rich in the most sought after minerals, including: Gold, Platinum, Diamonds and the best quality cotton, fruit, wine and the like. However because the lack of manufacturing DNA in the collective genes of the 58 million people, we still export leather and import Italian shoes.
With the international revival the old techniques and styles, South Africans have started making products, this is rather by default than by design. The Makers are making a rather tough time of it. Firstly they are not understood by the government.
South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, especially in the youth. The highest institutional corruption. Its manufacturing sector has been in decline for the last 25 years. The education system at every level is ineffectual. However the resilience of the South Africans has found a way to start small scale manufacturing enterprises in spite of the government. Many of the posts in the Blog and Wiki sections of this website explain the reasons why and how we might mitgtate against this gross incompetence and wasted opportunities.
Our work is to research, lobby, mentor, train and build the capacity, product potential and the market for the South African Artisanal community. If you have an interest or might be able to find a way to create an small scale creative manufacturing enterprise the this is the place to find assistance. If you would like to support this by contributing to the strategy and capacity, we would love to hear from you. Or perhaps you are just inspired enough to provide us with the much needed funds to keep this project on the road. Needless to say, we do not receive funding from the South African government. I leave it to your imagination.
We hope you enjoy visiting Makesa.co.za