Justine has been the director of Imbali since 2010. Over the past 10 years, she has grown the organisation into a premier training institution. Justine is enthusiastic about beautiful handmade objects, and getting up every morning to come to the Imbali studio and office is a great pleasure for her. Every day presents new opportunities for creativity and building meaningful human relationships. She values integrity, professionalism and adaptability.
Justine is passionate about creative education. She believes that working creatively with the hands and mind has profound therapeutic value, and that the very act of creatively transforming materials can lead to transformation on other levels, both personal and within communities. This can lead to powerful and meaningful social change.
Justine studied painting, art history and psychology at Rhodes University and did her postgraduate studies in education at Wits, culminating with a master’s degree looking at the value of art education for marginalised children and youth.
Portia started working at Imbali in 2015. She organises and keeps the Imbali office functional, and is the point of contact between students, their families and Imbali. She’s passionate about craft businesses and teaching the business and sustainability side of the creative industries.
Portia has always had an interest in craft and started knitting at the age of 8. She studied arts and craft design at Imbali from 2005 to 2007. In 2014, she formalised her knitting interest into a business specialising in knitted baby clothing and knitted jewellery from wool, wire and telephone wire. Through her experience of running her own business she has learned many valuable lessons, which have contributed to the development of Imbali’s modules on costing, pricing and functioning in a crafts business environment. She is presently studying global social entrepreneurship online with Philanthropy University to improve her entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.
Stacey studied fine art and has been teaching art for twenty-five years to people of all ages, ranging from pre-school to adult. She believes that creativity has the potential to solve all the world’s problems and is zealous in her determination to nurture and cultivate creativity in others. Stacey loves mountains, seas, trees, birds and dogs. She grows herbs, flowers and vegetables, plays music, reads addictively and paints. She also creates transitory public artworks from dumped objects and is especially interested in the transformation of unusual, found and recycled materials to create art or craft.
At Imbali, she writes learner and facilitator materials; devises assessment methods and tools and manages the assessment of students. She teaches a foundation module to first years, a second-year module which involves creating an innovative craft product and a facilitation course to third year students.
Having grown up in KZN, Lungani now lives in Kagiso. He is interested in traveling and learning about other people’s cultures as a way to expand his mind and gain experience. His interest in crafts started during his early schooling in KZN. However, it was only after he joined Imbali as a student that he realised this interest could lead to a viable career. Lungani is passionate about sharing his craft skills and knowledge with others: ‘I love working with students, sharing my expertise in silk screen printing, starch batik and ceramics. I like to explore the various techniques and push their boundaries.’ Lungani graduated from the Imbali 3-year crafts training programme in 2007. After a 1-year internship he was offered a full-time junior facilitator post. Over the past 11 years, Lungani has travelled twice to Holland to run specialist screen printing and starch batik workshops, as well as facilitating for Imbali in many different contexts. He has also completed numerous short courses to further his skills in printing, ceramics and facilitation. Lungani has built up a wealth of experience during his time at Imbali and has the ability to work with people of all ages and backgrounds.
Prudence was born and raised in Kagiso. A graduate of Imbali, she now runs the Imbali shop inside Museum Africa as well as her own sewing business. Prudence is passionate about empowering artisans and craftspeople. She does this by promoting Imbali students and their work through the shop. ‘I believe being genuine and nurturing, as well as professional and driven, is essential for success in the crafts sector. A focus on innovation and problem solving will also stand you in good stead.’ Prudence enjoys working with people, and would love to grow the Imbali shop into a large outlet for contemporary South African crafts, with a number of shops and stalls and a team of sales people.
Prudence has extensive knowledge of all the products in the shop, along with the different materials and techniques used. She is able to explain to customers in great detail the often extensive processes of creating crafts products. She also works closely with students from the second year of the Imbali training programme, teaching them about window dressing and the administrative systems necessary for running a shop. Prudence is an Imbali graduate and has an NQF 4 qualification in Wholesale and Retail.
With over 40 years of experience as both a maker and teacher, Connie brings a range of skills and expertise to her facilitation at Imbali. She is passionate about teaching and passing on her skills, and is dedicated to instilling in her students concepts of quality craftsmanship, taking responsibility for themselves and their environment, and working hard to create positive change in their futures.
Connie specialises in textiles, sewing and pattern making at Imbali. She has been involved in a number of international creative projects, including the Bordeaux Carnival in France and the Celebrate South Africa Festival in London. In 2010, she worked in Rotterdam in the Netherlands as a textile facilitator and programme manager at the International Community Arts Festival (ICAF), and in 2014 in Utrecht training refugee women in textile skills. She has qualifications in sewing and pattern making, ABET (adult basic education and training) and Life Line counselling.