A friend of mine - ok, I´ll ´fess up - the son of an ex-partner has become a craftsman and budding entrepreneur to boot.
Lu is 24 years old. I passed most of his teenage with him. And as teenagers are, he was a bit of a handful, but as teenagers go, he was relatively good. I would say to his mum ... ¨come on, what´s the problem ? When I was his age, I was underage drinking, smoking pot ...¨.
During my years with them, the most serious escapade he got into was to let off a banger (firecracker) in the school corridor. Exams were looming and the headteacher suspended him. If he didn´t take these exams, he would have to repeat the whole year. I went and pleaded to the headteacher and she allowed him to take the exams.
Blimey - I dropped my trousers and did a moonie in infants´ school in front of the entire playground ! The headteacher gave me a stiff talking-to as to what was appropriate behaviour and left it at that.
Lu got through the last year at school here at the second attempt. We do not have a university and he has not managed to get a grant to study overseas, just as the majority of our secondary/high school students.
He was a bit at a loss of what to do with himself. At one point he and some friends made a rap video which got played on local television but wasn´t very good. As the years ticked by, futilely trying to get a study grant, it became obvious he had to find something economically useful to do.
He has begun to make jewellry.
Craftwork here is not particularly good - there is no tradition and it is a pale imitation of what is found on the African continent which reminds me of the international African trade in crafts. Senegalese works are widely sold in Cape Town - there is a large enough market of undiscerning tourists who just want something ¨African¨ and don´t care about its provenance.
However, Lu´s earrings and necklaces, illustrated below are of exceptional quality. He collects all the shells himself from a local beach. If any of our readers are interested in purchasing, either individual items retail (USD 5 for the earrings, USD 10 for the necklaces + p/p), or for resale gross (rates negotiable), do please get in touch at