Wednesday, February 1, 2012


In the wise words of Nelson Mandela, “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”  We have witnessed firsthand, that when given an opportunity to work and to better themselves, people always rise to the occasion. South Africa in particular is a hotbed of innovation and brave people that recognise that change will only come about through individual commitment to upliftment. Each day as we go to work at Bundu Designs, it is a salute to this belief in Africa and the amazing people on the ground, that through creativity and vision are working to make the African continent the inspiring, innovative and awesome place it really is.
So with that in mind, this piece profiles the “Heart” that goes into every piece of artwork these artisans, upliftment projects and organisations create. We are of course also tagging it onto the fact that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and giving you 5 reasons to give a gift that really gives.

We’ve featured the embroidery project before, showcasing the remarkable embroidered bears which have quickly become one of the most sort after items that Bundu Designs sells. What we haven’t showed you before are the incredible embroidered heart cushions. Like the teddy bears, each heart is hand embroidered with mystical musings, animals, butterflies and messages of hope in traditional African fabrics. The creative outpouring and inspiration is left up to the individual embroiders. The project now supports over 30 previously unemployed women, each working from their homes in South Africa. For more information or to purchase click here.
One of our favourite artisans is Zimbabwean Right Mukore. He works out of a tiny little corrugated iron house and hand chisels a range of mystical, beautiful sculptures out of alien woods. The Eucalyptus trees that grow all over southern Africa are alien vegetation, slowly smothering the indigenous plant life. Right uses the Eucalyptus wood from these trees to create an amazing collection and his wooden hearts, top our list.

In a small forgotten little town called Makapanstad a remarkable project was started by Martha Letsalo. After her son was wrongly accused and imprisoned and later murdered, she started a sewing project to earn an income to survive and look after her three grandchildren. The Heartfelt Project is her story. It’s about who she is. It’s about her children. It’s about the lives of the women and families in her community and the big difference one small heart can make to the happiness of others. The collection has grown over the years, but we still adore the little felt and beaded hearts.

Lily, Phumzile, Maria, Happiness and Annie are all part of a sewing community in Alexandra Township and work hand in hand with the African Children’s Feeding scheme. Their hand embroidery and beading have become world class and these previously unemployed ladies are now independent and self sustaining through their sewing co-operative. They recently provided a pile of hearts for us for a range of handbags.
Who would of thought that a humble t-bag could be become the inspiration for intricate works of beauty, creating upliftment and self worth. In a small studio in Cape Town, t-bags are emptied, ironed and turned into a range of unique designs from cards to t-lights. The heart range is our favourite.

A selection of all the hearts is available through

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