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Who We Are and What We Do

Sithabe means we should be glad in Nguni. And we should be. South Africa is filled with talented and innovative people, creativity is steeped in our diverse cultural heritage. These blessings should be embraced and used to alleviate poverty, especially in rural areas. Sithabe was started by women drawn together by their love of South Africa, African cultural products and their intricate crafting. Sithabe promotes South African cultural products – the redesigning and crafting of these products, generating self employment for rural women, leading to a better quality of life. Sithabe strives to be a preferred supplier of exquisite, authentic cultural products, both locally and internationally.

Our Vision and Objectives

We want to empower women through the manufacturing of African cultural products and heritage items. We want these products to be appreciated and enjoyed globally. In achieving this we aim to preserve authentic South African cultural products and innovative designs. We want to promote the development of these products and publicize their unique, multifunctional character, develop a market for these products within South Africa and internationally, create sustainable livelihoods for our cultural artists – predominantly women living in rural areas – and develop and expand a network of these artists.

Personnel Profiles


Mathokoza Nhlapo
Managing Director, Product Designer

Sithabe African Craft CEO Mathokoza Nhlapo comes from a long line of crafters. In 2006 she registered Sithabe African Craft as a Closed Corporation and has been growing from strength to strength ever since. She is inspired by the traditional crafting of the Nguni people but often ventures creatively beyond the South African borders for product ideas. She believes in preserving the manufacturing integrity of each individual product and values the time and effort hand-made product take. This, she believes guarantees authenticity and ensures ancient cultural craft is not forgotten.


Sophie Masango (Ma Masango)

Ma Masango is the coordinator of the Ndebele women’s group of Sithabe crafters. She is an acknowledged authority and expert in the celebrated Ndebele beading tradition. Ma Masango and her team of ladies are improving their lives through their traditional craft skills, and learning about business in the process.

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