It was only in the 1800’s that the pram was used as a carrier in our Western culture, a period during which ‘baby-wearing’ wasn’t often practiced. In Africa, our local tribes people have kept ‘baby-wearing’ alive in the nurturing and development of their young. And it is with this spirit at the heart of African Baby Carriers, that we have forged a relationship with mothers and fathers of these cultures, to create and manufacture, by hand, our beautiful carriers. With your support African Baby Carriers can up-skill, skills-transfer and employ our wonderful team based on the outskirts of Masiphumele in the Southern Peninsula of the Western Cape.
JULIA – African Baby Carrier Designer and Owner.
“In 2003 my baby boy was born in Switzerland, and I carried him in a sling everywhere. Shortly thereafter I moved to South Africa and I realized that there weren’t any great baby carriers available offering a good quality, well-designed back-friendly, and baby back-friendly carrier – at a good price. Given this and the fact that our local culture here had really kept ‘baby-wearing’ alive, it just made for the right dynamics to create a business that employs individuals from these cultures to bring about a great carrier for Mum’s around the world, not just here in South Africa.
In 2005 Veronica and I made the first model of the African Baby Carrier. Since then we have grown and we now have a proper little factory on the outskirts of Masiphumelele in the South Peninsula outside Cape Town. Most exciting too is that we are currently in progress with Fairtrade registrations which reflect our ethos of employment opportunities for disadvantaged communities, and the skill development we offer as part of our business. I hope you cherish and enjoy your beautiful handmade carrier as much as we enjoy making them for our Mum’s!”
VERONICA has a wonderful family story; born first of twins near Durban in South Africa, she has two sisters and two brothers. Her parents both emigrated with the boat from Holland after the war and they met on the boat. Both sisters have a passion for design and attended the Technikon in Durban for Fashion Design. Veronica finished her degree there in 1989 and moved to Johannesburg where she ended up working with costumes. Taking some time to develop her artistry she travelled searching for her relatives in Holland, and a quick train station tea in Antwerp put her man before her. They now both live in Fishhoek and she manages our African Baby Carrier atelier.
Veronica maintains a passion for the up-skilling of our local black women – that already know a bit of sewing – with the know-how to use an industrial machine, enabling them to either earn a living from home, which some of our ladies have left to do, or in the atelier. We are very proud of our happy work environment.
NOZABATHINI was born in 1964 in Queenstown. She has 2 children and one grandchild. It was in Queenstown that she first learnt to sew. She worked as a machinist in a factory there until it closed, and then moved to Cape Town. What is interesting about Nozabathini’s story is that during the Apartheid era, as a ‘non-white’ South African she was required by law to carry an employment card, and because hers did not read machinist, she was unable to get work at the factory in Woodstock when she applied. Instead, although a super-qualified machinist – as Veronica calls her – she worked as a domestic worker in Cape Town for a number of years. It was our good fortune to discover this lady of wonderful talent.
NOSAKHELE was born in Stellenbosch in 1965. She lives in Masiphumelele near Fishhoek, as do her two daughters and 3 grandchildren. As a child, she spent time in Beaufort, and three years with an aunt in Cape Town. She learnt sewing from her mother when she was 16 years old, and from that time it became her dream to sew for a living as it is a good way to earn one’s money. She worked in a bakery for 5 years and as a domestic worker for 3 years, but held her dream of sewing alive, until she found work with Veronica. Nosakhele also makes beautiful clothes for clients privately.
IVAN, a wonderful Malawian gentleman, comes from a family of 7; and it was his sister Monica who taught him his tailoring skills. A proud father of 4 of his own children, he has been resident in South Africa for 3 years now and adding his humour and tailoring skills to African Baby Carriers for the last year.
Our workshop is always looking for more work. We have experience in sewing various bags, children’s clothes, nurse’s uniforms and lady’s clothes and we do small to large runs.
For more information call Veronica on: 076 508 5685.