Wire and beads art has become a thriving business and a sophisticated art form but for Zimbabwe-born Owen Katsande, it is his way of putting food on the table.

Owen (right) with his little brother Simba (left) and their friend Prince Ndlovu making ends meet with their craft

The 48- year- old Katsande and his little brother Simba and friend Prince Ndlovu make wire beaded sculptures on Mackeurtan Ave, in Durban North opposite the church.

This father-of-three told the Durban North News that he came to South Africa in 2002 looking for a better life but after years of struggling he decided to revisit his skills set and came up with an idea of wire sculpting and selling his artwork on the street.

“I asked the Checkers Centre to use a space at the parking lot and they agreed. I have been selling my craft here since 2009. There have been a few hurdles along the way but I can feed and clothe my kids,” said Katsande.

Not being a South African has had its toll on him when he first started, but he said that people have now warmed up to him. “People love my work and it gives me joy to see their faces light up after the work has been completed.”

He said there is no time to rest or relax as he constantly thinks of new ideas to boost his business and coming up with new creature to craft. “It is like I am addicted to this because even when I am at home I am always thinking about something new to try out. When I create something I want it to be different not just the usual stuff the people can find on every street corner. It is also nice to see customers coming up with their own ideas about what they want and colour co-ordination,” Katsande said.

His sculptures range from animals, flowers and key rings. “I want my customers when they buy from me to come back and buy some more because they are satisfied with my sculptures. I try and incorporate different colours to match different things in the house.”
Katsande’s dream is to see his artwork overseas especially in Nerthelands. “Many people who buy my art are from oversees and that gives me great joy to see that people appreciate my work. I would also like to thank the Domino Foundation for giving me space to keep and sell my art and for exposing me to so many great opportunities.”

The Domino Foundation is housing Katsande’s artworks and that of many other artists in their shop at 37 Mackeurtan Ave, Durban North.