Jonathan - known as Jones – has been working with Artisans & Adventurers since 2016. He makes our delightful beaded animals and fish. We spoke to him recently to find out how life was treating him in Zimbabwe.
How did you begin working with A&A?
I met Bee in 1996 in Hackney, London. My brother Bernard introduced me as he had been working with Bee. We had been travelled to the London to set up a stall selling our wire products in Covent Garden which was very enjoyable and successful. Bee was kind enough to house us and show us our way around London. We remember when Bee visited Zimbabwe with her son Conor who was then only 5. He got on so well with my brother’s boy, Tawanda as they were the same age. Tawanda sadly passed away recently. This for us was a very sad and shocking even. We still do not know what happened but he got ill and this grew worse due to the lack of medical help and care in Zimbabawe and without the correct medical attention he passed.
We enjoyed Bee’s visit. They stayed with us in our then home in Zengeze and we showed them around Harare. Back then Zimbabwe was much easier to travel around and I remember waving goodbye to them when they departed at Harare station on a train bound for South Africa.
Do you enjoy working with A&A?
Yes! Definitely - I enjoy it very much. It’s actually a blessing working with Artisans & Adventures as it is not only benefiting me financially but other crafters as well. The money goes a long way to pay house rent, school fees and putting food on the table.
Tell us what it's like working on the new designs!
I love working on new designs and it gives me such pleasure. Amy's new designs help to broaden our line of products. Her ideas are so interesting and the lobsters we have been making are very special. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country so lobsters, jelly fish and star fish are unusual for us. We do not get to travel to the ocean but working on these designs helps us imagine them. We also enjoy working on the Seagulls which we understand are a very abundant bird in Margate where Artisans & Adventurers is based.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a Zimbabwean wire crafter. I have been working with wire and beads
since 1985. It has always been my main source of income. I’m a family man, married to Gloria and we have 3 children. Gloria is a Chef by profession she’s very loving and supportive. We are a very close family and I believe with the love of a family you can do anything! My son Joe is the eldest. He is 16 and still at school. His dream is to study computer engineering. He also loves to do wire craft. Shalom, my daughter is 14 and also at school. Her dream is to be a lawyer. Lastly there’s Jeremy. He is 12 and is in 6th grade. Jeremy wants to
do automotive engineering and he’s also into wire craft during his spare time he helps me out. We also have a small dog who is part of the family called Shinayne. We are an animal loving family and so much enjoy having a pet.
Tell us about living in Zimbabwe.