Baby steps 

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Now's the time to throw some clothing out! 


You've probably heard about the huge fire in Khayelitsha in which 4000 people lost their homes and all their possessions on New Year's day. Zanele has been going through her clothing, setting aside what she no longer neads I have been doing the same. We took five big bags through to the Khayelitsa fire station on Friday. If you have items of clothing, blankets or non-perishable food that you would like to donate just drop them off at your nearest fire station or Pick n Pay store. What a brilliant idea to make the fire station the collection point!
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The dream team does it again 


Zanele and her team of weaving wizards never fail to astound me. We recently received an order from a Mielie fan from San Francisco for ten custom Mielie bags. Only snag was that she wanted to collect them when she was in Cape Town... a week later! We normally take four to six weeks to complete an order, but Zanele and the team were up to the challenge. Thanks to all the weavers and finishers - I know a couple of late nights went into completing this one!
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Great news 


I had a call from Zanele on Sunday, asking if we could help her move her furniture and the Mielie materials urgently. She and about twenty neighbours had been informed on Saturday evening that the housing department was going to start building her a house... on Monday AND that she had to clear all her possessions AND her shack by 6am on Monday morning!

Everyone had permission to rebuild their shacks on a central piece of communal vacant land, where they will stay until they move into their beautiful new brick houses.

When we arrived there was a scene of happy pandemonium with people running around like crazed ants, breaking down houses and rebuilding them across the road; throwing their possessions into whatever bag or box they could find and lugging them across the road.

Zanele, we're so happy for you and can't wait to enjoy a cup of tea with you in your beautiful new house!
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Happy happy, Zanele! 

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Welcome! 


Zanele runs a thriving sewing business on the side, sewing outfits for church choirs, graduation gowns for preschoolers, chair covers. Whenever she gets a nice big order, she loves to buy something special with her earnings - like her beautiful black and red lounge suite, artistically decorated with the odd Mielie cast-off. Doesn't it just say - Welcome, have a seat?
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When you miss someone, show it 


When I popped in at Khayelitsha the other day Zanele was wearing a very pretty necklace made of plaited grass and beads. When I asked her about it, she said that she wears it whenever she has a dream about her family or she just misses home and it always makes her feel better... What a lovely idea!
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Meet the creators 


Nomfuneko, Nomelikhaya and Ntsaphokazi (not pictured) were the genii who created the new design Mielie bags. Nomalizo has been one of the driving forces behind the new Mielie crochet project. She has been using Mielie strips to crochet our beautiful new SitIn crate seats (more here).
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What more can I say? 

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Moving the mountain to Khayelitsha 


Because there is very little work at the moment, we've decided to save the weavers' transport money and send the Mielie-mountain to the mammas, instead of asking them to come to the Mielie mother-ship in Newlands. Everybody met at Zanele's and soaked up some rays of sunshine while waiting their turn to get their week's work. It was also great to see all the children and grandchildren.

Finally, you may notice that I've reactivated the comments field because this blog was just becoming a one-sided affair. So please leave me a comment, and please don't tell those spammers, ok?
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