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.
Simphiwe Mbonambi is currently an Executive Manager Corporate Services at the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone. She is a proven business leader with more than 10 years of leadership experience, 8 of which has been at an executive level. She holds a BCom Honours in Supply Chain Management, is a certified Executive Coach, and is currently doing her MBA with Henley Business School.
Zanele Motsa is an experienced professional with over 20 years working experience in the financial services, utilities, information & technology as well as professional services industries. Zanele has experience within various domains in IT and the financial services sectors having worked for organisations such as IBM South Africa, Rand Merchant Bank, DST International, MMI Holdings and now the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). Her expertise ranges from IT strategy formulation, implementation and monitoring, thought leadership, business solutions implementation, information and data management and consulting services. Zanele currently serves on multiple Information & Technology governance committees within the SARB and is a board member of the INSETA (Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority).
Frances Potter worked first as a researcher and later, during South Africa’s turbulent 1980s, as a human rights lawyer. In 2002 she was fortunate to combine her interest in rural development with her love of artisan craft and art when the US-based NGO Aid to Artisans employed her as a marketing consultant. With ATA she worked in South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique. She established Aid to Artisans South Africa Trust, which became the Africa Craft Trust. Later she co-formed The New Basket Workshop in response to the special needs of rural basket producers in Africa. This work, which occupied her from 2008, included collaborations on various projects with basket makers in Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa. In 2011 she was hired, as director of TNBW, to consult to India’s National Institute of Design on the implementation of a five-country basket development initiative in Africa. Further work with India included consulting to the National Centre for Design and Product Development on basket producer-focused projects in Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia. In 2016 she was delighted to be invited to join the board of Imbali Visual Literacy Project – South Africa’s only accredited craft training programme. In the same year she came back to the Africa Craft Trust as a board member and director.
Most recently she has overseen the implementation of project work funded by the National Lotteries Commission of South Africa and a GIZ-funded project in Ethiopia. The Africa Craft Trust favours collaboration with like-minded projects.
Over the years she has been a judge for UNESCO’s Prix d’Excellence and Label d’Excellence in Burkina Faso, Gabon and Mali as well as serving on the jury for UNESCO’s International Fund for the Promotion of Culture. Frances is an advisor to the Joburg Fringe, as well as to RIDA.
Among her greatest pleasures is the opportunity of working in artisan driven projects and maintaining strong links with those communities long after the programme is over.
Anne Cabot-Alletzhauser heads up the Alexander Forbes Research Institute – an initiative that looks at the full spectrum of savings, investment and wellness issues that confront South Africans in particular and Africans in general. Anne’s primary focus is in overseeing Alexander Forbes’s thought leadership: in particular, the periodicals Benefits Barometer, Benefits Barometer Africa, Collective Insight and the Alexander Forbes Digital Thought Leadership Platform.
Though trained as a development anthropologist, Anne spent 32 years managing pension fund assets in North America, Japan, the UK, Europe and South Africa. Global asset allocation, risk management and quantitative modelling were her focus. In 1992 she moved to South Africa and pioneered the development of the multi-manager approach of pension fund management that has become the hallmark of that industry today.
With the founding of the Alexander Forbes Research Institute, Anne saw an opportunity to integrate development anthropology with her lengthy experience in financial services in assessing how effectively African financial services and social protection policies were addressing the real needs of Africans. This work highlights how intrinsically interlinked the well-being of a developing economy is to the well-being of its employers, workplaces and employees.
Anne is a member of the global professional group the CFA Institute and serves on its Future of Finance content advisory committee. She sits on the ASISA Social Security Standing Committee, the FTSE/JSE Index Advisory Council, the CFA South Africa Advisory Committee and the INSETA Research and Learning Committee.
She has produced a number of papers on the full value chain involved in delivering employee benefits to individuals. She has been a frequent speaker, both in South Africa and internationally, on topics ranging from pension reform, financial well-being, risk management, portfolio structuring, manager selection, behavioural finance, decision-making, performance assessment and the specific requirements of pension fund management. She has also lectured for the ASISA Institute, Wits Business School, University of Johannesburg, Gordon Institute of Business Studies, and the Actuarial Department at Wits.
In 2003 Anne published A Trustee’s Guide to Investment Management (Butterworth).
Specialists, collaborators and partners
Imbali has an extensive network of local and international artists, crafts people, designers, educators, and business owners. These individuals, all experts in their fields, bring specialist knowledge and expertise to Imbali’s training programmes.
Alisa Ray is a Community Arts Counsellor and Visual Arts Facilitator. She works in a range of different contexts including with children at an inner city children’s home, with adults at an Addiction Recovery Centre, and Psychiatric Recovery Centre. She is currently studying towards becoming a qualified Art Therapist. Alisa works with Imbali running the Life Skills Programme which was piloted in 2019.
Ane Lyngsgaard is a Danish basketmaker with an international profile for her innovative work. She has taught in Europe, Canada, USA and Africa and has been making baskets for over 20 years. Her work is exhibited in Europe and is represented in several public and private collections. Her work is inspired by nature and balance, she specialises in merging old traditional skills and contemporary design.
Ane introduced a range of weaving skills at Imbali, working with both students and facilitators she not only imparted new skills but also introduced many new weaving materials such as pack band, chop sticks, wire and thread. She also helped to develop a new weaving module. ‘In my teaching I want to improve the skills of the students and inspire and guide the individual by using methods I have been taught by different international basketry masters all over the world.’ Read more about Ane and her work here: http://www.pileriet.dk/
Carlo Gibson is a fashion designer and owner of South African contemporary clothing brand Klipa. Carlo is passionate about detailed craftsmanship, young-spirited street style, high quality urban design and easy-to-wear silhouettes.
Carlo works with Imbali as a specialist design trainer and product developer bringing his design skills, love of fine craftsmanship and passion for creative and inventive projects to his work with Imbali 2nd and 3rd year students. Read more about Carlo: https://www.klipadenim.com/
Eva Seidenfaden has worked in the field of basketry as a weaver, teacher, author and curator since 1983. Eva specialises in spiral basketry from Dordogne in France and Burkina Faso in Africa.
She has exhibited widely and participated in numerous craft fairs both in Denmark, where she lives, and internationally. She is passionate about meeting fellow weavers, sharing her skills and gaining new knowledge, skills, techniques and inspiration from others.
Eva founded the organisation Baskets4Life, a collaborative initiative consisting of ten basket makers and designers from Denmark who exhibit together, organise collaborations and also travel and work with communities sharing and transferring weaving skills. Since 2006, Eva has been very involved in working with women and weaving in Burkina Faso. She has initiated a production of shopping baskets. Eva came to Imbali along with Ane and taught the Burkina technique with coloured telephone wire. She imparted a keen delight in this technique and gave a sense of the possibilities available once it is perfected.
You can find out more about Eva by going to: http://www.vissinggaard.dk/Eva+Seidenfaden_UK.aspx
Harriet Riddell studied Contemporary Applied Arts at the University of Hertfordshire. She is a performance textile artist and educator from Oxfordshire who uses freeform embroidery to create stitched portraits and live scenarios. Often stitching in challenging locations such as public markets, slums and fields, she has used solar energy, bicycle-powered batteries, and foot pedals to power her sewing machine. Harriet has exhibited her work around the world including in London, Delhi, Nairobi and Toronto. Harriet initially learned to use a sewing machine as a young child from her mother. Harriet’s grandmother, a Canadian textile artist, taught her freeform embroidery when she was ten years old.
Harriet spent six weeks at Imbali in 2018 teaching students freeform embroidery. She developed a strong and lasting bond with the project and there are plans to have her back in the future. Her spontaneous way of working and ability to capture the transient world on a permanent tapestry have left a lasting mark on the students she worked with at Imbali.
To find out more about Harriet and her see her amazing work go to: https://www.instagram.com/institchyou/
Kathrin Stadler is a full time artist and creative practitioner. She has travelled from her home in Basel, Switzerland numerous times over the past 15 years to teach at Imbali, each time bringing new creative ideas, techniques and materials. Her energy and enthusiasm is contagious and she has been responsible for introducing many new and innovative products to Imbali which have subsequently become part of the repertoire of the project. For Kathrin, creativity is central to daily life. She approaches art in a playful way, and encourages her students to do the same, embracing the concept of sharing and celebrating details in the environment that are often overlooked.
Kathrin has a studio in Kulturzentrum Kesselhaus in Weil am Rhein and works with a range of materials including found pieces, photography, paper, fabrics, wax, inks and charcoal. She also travels extensively and has completed artistic residencies in Taiwan and Johannesburg. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Taipei, Johannesburg, Germany and Switzerland as well as a range of collaborative projects, most notably, the “Graffiti Knitting Project”. Kathrin’s work crosses cultural and language boundaries and is refreshing and inspiring. She finds beauty in surprising places and details that are mostly overlooked become central to her creative practice.
To find out more about Kathrin and her art go to:
Kamal Naran has worked in a range of different art and counselling facilitation contexts, including museum workshop facilitation, extra -art facilitation at schools, Lefika La Phodiso Community Art Counselling & Training Institute and Johannesburg Parent and Child Counselling Centre. Kamal has also written and presented numerous academic papers at conferences. He worked alongside Alisa Ray developing and running the Imbali Life Skills Programme.
Kim Sacks is an award winning ceramicist, ceramics and craft teacher, gallery owner and collector of African art and crafts. She supports Imbali in numerous ways, including offering advice and mentorship to our ceramics teachers and students and hosting tours of her gallery and ceramics studio for Imbali students and graduates. Read more about Kim and her gallery: http://www.kimsacks.com/
Mara Fleischer is an inspired and uninhibited creative, specialising in finding sustainable environmental solutions. She is a community facilitator, focussing on meaningful collaborations with environment, cultures and society. She is passionate about recycling and design for community enterprise and she thrives on the innovation in Africa. With over 20 years of experience in the crafts sector Mara specializes in product design and development, creative facilitation, design thinking, and entrepreneurial skills. Mara works with Imbali as a specialist product developer and design thinking facilitator.
Margo Snoyman studied fashion design and textiles and has worked in this field for over 30 years. She was the chief costume designer at the State Theatre in Pretoria for many years, she has lectured on the history of fashion, worked in trend forecasting and run her own business. Margot is passionate about textiles, fashion design, crafts and creativity. She sees creativity as the most powerful resource for the 21st century. She’s a keen collector of fashion items, embroidery and textiles. She likes to see young creatives developing themselves and growing their skills into successful businesses. Margo works with Imbali teaching product development and design and inspiring young crafters to turn their passion into a business.
Nina Sedumedi is a fashion designer and business owner. She studied fashion design at the Wits Technicon, now University of Johannesburg and has worked in the field for nearly two decades. She is the founder of Nina Sedumedi Creations, a fashion brand and manufacturer ‘that celebrates the African Female and her unique form’. Nina designs and manufactures everything from everyday wear to custom made outfits for any occasion. Her company specialises in designs that complement the full figured women.
Nina has been involved with Imbali over many years both as a specialist sewing and pattern making facilitator and as a business mentor and advisor to final year students. Nina has also employed numerous Imbali graduates in her business.
Find out more about Nina’s Made in SA fashion brand at: https://www.ninamadeinsa.com/
Nomusa Sithole is a master embroiderer and a founding member of Intuthuko Embroidery Group based in Benoni. Nomusa represented South Africa at a BRICS summit in Jaipur India in 2016.
Nomusa consults to Imbali as an embroidery specialist, she runs the first year embroidery module, teaching students a range of specialist stitches, and how to perfect hand embroidery and applique.
Read more about The Intuthuko Embroidery Project: https://www.artivismexhibition.com/intuthuko-embroidery-project.html
Ruth Sack has been involved with Imbali for many years, from 1988 to 2010 as the director, thereafter writing and compiling ‘The Imbali Artbook: Adventuring Into Art’ and co-ordinating and facilitating roll-out workshops for this resource book in all 9 provinces of South Africa. Ruth has extensive experience as an artist, teacher, researcher, writer and exhibition curator. She has a masters degree in Fine Art from WITS and exhibited her work in solo shows and in numerous group exhibitions. Ruth has been training and developing curricula full-time for many years. She has worked equally in urban contexts, township venues and rural contexts; in non-formal training situations, and in government departmental systems. She has managed and run short intensive courses and very long programmes. She has been involved in all aspects of the delivering SETA accredited crafts training programmes, with their very complex and specific requirements; and she was trained, and practised, as an assessor within that system.
Yda Walt studied Textile Printing and Dyeing at the London College of Furniture and then worked as a freelancer, selling her work to companies like Liberty’s of London, Calvin Klein and DKNY. For over 20 years now she has been running her own hand screen printing and design business based in Johannesburg. She creates once-off screen printed and hand stitched textile artworks as well as art prints on paper, screen printed ceramic ware, cushion covers, table cloths, multipurpose purses and bags as well as dish towels. Her work is uniquely South African and African, especially her ranges including ‘African Proverbs’. Her love for bright and vibrant colours and bold design infuses all her work. Yda has worked for many years with Imbali as a specialist Screen printing facilitator and design trainer. She has been involved in Imbali’s Keiskamma Exchange programme, running a screen printing workshop at Keiskamma in the Eastern Cape. Yda has in the past employed Imbali graduates as specialist screen printers in her studio. She also provides freelance hand stitching work for many of our students when she receives large orders.
You can find out more about Yda’s work at: https://ydawaltstudio.co.za/
Imbali has developed numerous partnerships with like-minded organisations. Imbali is at times contracted to do work for these organisations and at times they do work for Imbali. Collaboration takes various forms.
Africa Craft Trust
The Africa Craft Trust is a Johannesburg-based craft development organisation. The Trust implements innovative programmes throughout South Africa and beyond to assist in generating sustainable business for craft artisans. Their programmes focus on: enhancing market access, product development and training in a range of craft business and marketing skills. The Trust assists artisans to expand livelihood opportunities and boost their incomes. They collaborate through enterprise training and design collaboration, drawing on local and international expertise. You can read more about the work of the Trust here: http://africacrafttrust.org.za/
Boitumelo Sewing Project (Outreach Foundation Hillbrow)
The Boitumelo Project has been operating in Hillbrow since November 2001 as a centre offering training and skills development. The project creates ‘a safe space’ where both men, women and youth can be involved in creative activities of arts/crafts development while learning key life skills to address the myriad complexities in their daily lives. Boitumelo Project strives for creative excellence and facilitating communication within communities in Gauteng and South Africa. The project uses the arts to nurture self-worth that enables product development which in turn supports product sales and income. This facilitates economic independence and combats poverty in an incremental way for participants. Read more about Boitumelo here: https://www.facebook.com/BoitumeloProject/
Ceramics Southern Africa
Founded in 1972, Ceramics Southern Africa is the official representative body of potters in Southern Africa. The objective of the association is to promote ceramics in Southern Africa by improving the work being produced and to foster an interest in ceramics by the general public. This is done by presenting workshops and organising exhibitions regionally and nationally. The purpose of Ceramics SA is to maintain a representative forum for the encouragement and fostering of the art and craft of ceramics in Southern Africa. The field encompasses all relevant processes that add value to clay. Over the years Ceramics SA have included Imbali students and graduates in a range of events, workshops and master classes. http://www.ceramicssa.org/
Creative Learning is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. Since its inception in 1977, Creative Learning has assisted communities, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions at home and abroad to foster change that has a lasting social impact.
Focusing on communities with pressing human needs, Creative Learning enhances the capacity of local organizations around the world to improve the lives of people in their communities. Through the creation of people-to-people partnerships, Creative Learning are especially dedicated to protecting human rights, supporting economic and social development, and building peace. http://creativelearning.org/
House of Embroidery
House of Embroidery is a South African-born dye house established in 1995 which produces multi-coloured hand-dyed embroidery thread and ribbon.
As a fair-trade company, House of Embroidery prides itself on the sustained empowerment of previously unskilled South Africans. Most of the team are women, many of whom had no prior employment. The majority are currently the main breadwinners in their respective families. https://www.houseofembroidery.com/
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Since opening its doors in 1915, JAG’s home on the edge of Joubert Park has remained at the epicentre of the Johannesburg’s art establishment. JAG boasts the largest public collection of modern and contemporary art on sub-Saharan Africa. It houses collections of 17th-century Dutch paintings, 18th- and 19th-century British and European art, 19th-century South African works, a large contemporary collection of 20th-century South African and international art, and a print portfolio containing works from the 15th century to the present. Current primary curatorial focus is on contemporary African and South African art.
JAG also has a shop where they sell art books and crafts made by local craftartists. Imbali has been supplying the JAG shop with our beautiful handmade craft products since 2014. To find out what’s on at JAG go to: https://friendsofjag.org/
Keiskamma Art Project
The Keiskamma Art project is part of the Keiskamma Trust, a community organisation, centred in Hamburg, a rural area of the Eastern Cape, which works to foster hope and offer support for the most vulnerable. The Keiskamma Trust strives to address the challenges of widespread poverty and disease through holistic and creative programmes and partnerships.
The Trust has developed five studios specialising in beading, felt-making, embroidery, ceramics and printmaking. The project is run under the leadership of local managers and group leaders. Together they work with 130 artists and crafters to create quality art and craft works, generating much-needed income to improve the quality of life in Hamburg and its surroundings. http://www.keiskamma.org/
The Origins Centre is a museum that explores the origins of art in Africa Southern African Rock Art, San Heritage, Human Evolution, Stone Tools, and more. It is based at Wits University.
The Origins Centre also has a shop. Items for sale are a mix of eclectic and beautiful ethnic objects, art, which contrast with more traditional, authentic pieces and contemporary items with a distinctly South African flavour. The majority of merchandise on sale in the Origins Shop is the product of creative and craft initiatives led by local communities, non-governmental organisations, women’s groups and individual South African artists and crafters. Origins Shop also offers visitors an unequalled range of books ranging from Africana and archaeology to geology and fossils. https://www.wits.ac.za/origins/
Imbali been supplying the Origins Centre Shop with our beautiful handmade products since its inception in 2006.
Play Africa is a children’s museum equipping children and families for the future through play, creativity and connection. This bold, exciting and ground-breaking project in post-apartheid South Africa, together with partners, seeks to transform the landscape of the city of Johannesburg for children and families. Play Africa is based at Constitution Hill.
Sticky Situations are a network of passionate and talented local and global urban professionals, whose core intention is to create positive changes to the urban fabric, be that with people, processes, policies, practice or place. Their work centres around the synergy between people and processes both as resources and as catalysts for change.
Sticky Situations use participatory design methods to facilitate, co-ordinate and implement community-driven projects. Their work is grounded in community capacity building and action research. Collaboratively they assist communities and stakeholders to identify goals and to build the skills and confidence needed to create change.
Madi a Thavha
The Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge is well-known for its central location in Limpopo, its focus on the art and culture of the province and its luxurious and comfortable interiors. Its Dancing Fish gallery is like a live-in cultural heritage gallery and embraces Madi a Thavha Textile & Design studio. All the CraftArt displayed in the rooms and gardens of the Lodge and in the Cultural Heritage centre are made by local craft artists. The colourful stories and customs of the region are presented on huge wall panels, explaining the meaning of bead work, spirituality in Africa, traditional music instruments and other artefacts from ancient times until today. A permanent exhibition of contemporary Limpopo CraftArt decorates the veranda.
Madi a Thavha offers guided village tours, and guests can book creative activities and cultural performances on tour in advance. Hiking and birding can be done practically from your room’s doorstep too. https://madiathavha.com/