Jwaneng Mine hosted a Creative Arts training session on Mokhure seeds and beading techniques as part of continued efforts to enhance the profile of neighbouring host communities.
The training sought to strengthen alternative livelihoods of communities in the Zone of Influence (ZoI) through various enterprise development initiatives, including arts and culture. It follows the beads and pottery training facilitated in 2017, which sought to build capacities of vulnerable and marginalised groups such as people living with disabilities, women, the unemployed and out-of-school youth.
Mokhure seeds are used in Setswana culture to create waistbands, wristbands, neckpieces and ointments for babies as a means of good health. In modern culture, Mokhure seeds are also used in combination with beads to create exquisite pieces of jewelry for all occasions including magadi and gala events. The training targeted 30 women of varied ages, both skilled and unskilled from six communities in the ZoI; namely: Maboane, Sese, Lefhoko, Sese, Jwaneng and Mokhomma.
In order to deliver quality training, Jwaneng Mine partnered with Thapong Art Centre, a non-profit organisation whose mandate is to build capacities of local creative artists, identify markets to increase their revenue and preserve culture through arts. Thapong Art Centre facilitated the training at Debswana Club, with five days of intense learning of tools and techniques.
Sebinki Gaotlolwee a participant from Sese community said, "Ke itumeletse dithuto tse ke di amogetseng, di mputse matlho e bile ke rutegile fela thata. Ke solofela ke tla tsweledisa se go ya pele. Ke leboga thata moepo wa Jwaneng go bo o re rotloeditse le go re ntsha mo lehumeng".
Boitumelo Ditaola of Maboane community said she did not know that Mokhure seeds could be used for things other than baby waistbands. She said now she knows that one can make earrings, necklaces and decorative pieces too.
All participants showed passion and commitment to the training as they travelled from their host communities every morning to attend. They were awarded certificates of completion to recognise their efforts, marking a true understanding of culture, arts and craft, and the heritage that lays within such technique.