Magic hands for wire art
A MAN shot and paralysed during a robbery on his way home from work 10 years ago now makes a living out of wire art.
George Mongwayi, 35, from Pretoria, and his business partner Siphiwe Khumalo, 30, are turning wire into beautiful and stylish luxury cars, buses, home decorations and many other interesting art works.
The creative pair from Block KK in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, use tennis balls and the bottom part of cool drink tins to make car and mag wheels.
Mongwayi said he started his business in 2003 when he realised he could not find employment after the shooting in 2002 that left him paralysed from the waist down.
He and Khumalo have registered their project and sell their products to workers in the Pretoria CBD
Mongwayi and Khumalo go around the township asking for wire and also collect wire in the streets.
"It is very difficult to find good wires and we do not have enough tools and funds to work as fast as we would like to.
"The community has been behind us, but we believe we can do more," Mongwayi said.
The pair work from a one-roomed shack that was previously used as a community centre.
Mongwayi, a father of two, said he had to face reality and accept that he would never work again.
"It was very difficult to accept my condition, but I had to take it like a man for the sake of my children.
"I spent more than a year trying to figure out how to support my children, then I remembered that my primary school teachers used to tell me that I had magical hands," Mongwayi said.
"They always said I made the best and most different art collections from wires. I then began to make a few items and the community loved them and encouraged me to continue with my work. I then decided to turn my hobby into a project with my friend," he said.
Khumalo said: "We want the whole country to recognise our work and support us where they can. We also wish to sell our work to all government departments.
"Our biggest dream is open our own art gallery one day. This project is keeping us busy and putting food on the table for our children.
"I cannot imagine where I would be right now if it was not for this project," he said.