Left to right: Sam Mugambe (Pabello), Maughin Lord (Jawitz Properties), Sifanekiso Mthimkhulu and Njabulo Nkosi both from Pabello.
Sam Mugambe, who started working at Paballo in 2004, operates out of the Methodist House in Braamfontein helping the destitute to live a better life. Every week he feeds hundreds of homeless people coming through the soup kitchen, with a loaf of fresh bread and a bowl of hot soup. He also collects second-hand clothing for the needy.
Sam explains that his ultimate goal is to serve the impoverished community by providing sustenance and skills that will empower them to become self-sufficient and earn a living. “By teaching them the artistry needed for beadwork and other marketable skills we hope they will be able to move from living on the street to becoming independent and productive members of society,” he says.
Jawitz Properties, who has been buying Paballo’s corporate gift beadwork articles for a number of years, would like to encourage other corporates to support this initiative and help with clothing and food.
“A few years ago, Jawitz Properties sponsored training held by Paballo, to upskill 10 individuals in the art of bead making. We then commissioned Sam and his team to supply a range of beaded items, all branded with our corporate colours as gifts to clients. The quality of workmanship that his beading team produced was of a high professional standard and each one was a work of art. The feedback from our clients was encouraging and many commented on the degree of skill with which each product was made. Of the initial 10 beaders in the training, eight have started their own small businesses selling beaded articles at markets and on the side of the road. We are in discussions with Sam to look at other ways in which we can assist Paballo grow,” says Jawitz Properties’ national marketing manager, Maughin Lord.
Sam and his two associates, Sifanekiso Mthimkhulu and Njabulo Nkosi are versatile in their creations and can produce a variety of beaded items to suit clients’ needs. Some of their most successful works have been a standard-sized soccer ball brought out for the 2010 World Cup and a Jawitz Properties’ house (as seen in the picture) that is gifted to each new franchise when joining the Jawitz Properties’ family, keyrings, coasters and vuvuzelas. “Our products can be made to order in any colour and size and all the proceeds go to the Paballo bead-workers,” says Sam.