Wednesday December 19 , 2018
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Client List


  • President Nelson Mandela
  • President Thabo Mbeki
  • President Jacob Zuma
  • Queen Mother of the Netherlands
  • Queen Mother of the Bafokeng
  • King Mswati (II) of Swaziland


  • The Speaker of Parliament
  • The Deputy Speaker of Parliament
  • Women’s Parliament
  • The African National Congress
  • The Congress of the People
  • The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
  • The following Government Ministries
    • Ministry of Agriculture
    • Ministry of Arts & Culture
    • Ministry of Correctional Services
    • Ministry of Defence
    • Ministry of Education
    • Ministry of Energy
    • Ministry of Environment & Tourism
    • Ministry of Finance
    • Ministry of Health
    • Ministry of Human Settlement
    • Ministry of Justice
    • Ministry of Labour
    • Ministry of Minerals
    • Ministry of Police
    • Ministry of Rural Development
    • Ministry of Social Development
    • Ministry of Science & Technology
    • Ministry of Trade & Industry
    • Ministry of Transport
    • Ministry of Women, Children & People with Disabilities


  • The following Provincial Governments
    • Eastern Cape
    • Free State Provincial Government
    • Gauteng
    • KwaZulu Natal
    • Mpumalanga
    • Northern Cape
    • North West
    • Western Cape 


  •  Absa Bank
  • Arts & Crafts Earth Summit
  • Beadex
  • City of Tshwane
  • Cell-C
  • Commonwealth Women’s Network
  • Crushco
  • CSIR
  • Engen
  • Eskom
  • Finnish Government
  • First National Bank
  • Goldfields Limited Foundation
  • HSRC
  • Human Rights Organisation SA
  • Independent Development Trust (IDT)
  • Intellient
  • Jubalani Events Management
  • National Heritage Council
  • National Library of South Africa
  • Nedbank
  • Nelson Mandela University (PE)
  • NRF
  • SAA
  • SABC
  • Save the Children Fund
  • Shoprite Checkers
  • SITA
  • Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA)
  • South African Post Office
  • South African Tourism
  • Standard Bank
  • Telkom
  • Tepco 
  • Umalusi - Quality Council for Further Education & Training
  • Unisa
  • United Nations
  • Vodacom
  • Walter Sisulu University








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Product List-

Corporate Gifts Talking Beads specialises in the production of unique and high quality gifts for Corporate occasions. These gifts can either be customised to the client's specific needs or designed by our in-house designer.


Umgotla (Beaded Corporate Logos) Talking Beads produces unique framed beaded corporate logos and coats of arms that take pride of place in many boardrooms. This adds a special African touch to any organisation. 

Traditional Crafts - In an endeavour to promote and preserve our craft heritage Talking Beads has identified many "craft elders"that are able to pass their skills on to younger generations. We are exploring new products and techniques that will enable the crafters to "work smart" through improved design and attention to detail.

Home Decor - many crafts can be adapted to provide desirable home decor items such as light fittings, table cloths, table mats, cutlery, napkin rings, cushions, sculpture and wall-hangings. We also have a wide range of wooden and stone sculpture.

Fashion - Talking Beads in close cooperation with Africa Beauty design and manufacture traditional and contemporary African fashion

Jewellery - we also specialise in a wide range of traditional African, contemporary and organic jewellery.


Earth Centre launched

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Last week saw the establishment of our new Ngezandla Zethu Earth Centre as crafters moved into our premises in Proes Street. This is a community craft centre which produces various products from a variety of recycled waste materials. It is good to see this project become a reality after many months of planning and negotiation. It is exciting to finally address our commitment to protecting the environment by promoting the importance of minimising the generation of waste whilst providing an income for an increasing number of crafters.

We are pleasantly surprised and impressed with the ingenuity shown by our crafters in turning discarded materials into items of beauty. Ngezandla Zethu contributes the necessary support structure by providing the accommodation and business, marketing and design advice. We look forward to seeing synergies develop between the various crafters as they explore how they can work together to create unique products.

The crafts include the following;

Organic Jewellery which utilises seeds, wood, bamboo, and dried fruits in their natural and coloured versions to produce a popular range of fashion accessories including belts, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Mixed media Art utilises an eclectic collection of waste materials such as carpeting, cushion fillings, light bulbs, wood and paint to produce striking collages depicting a variety of themes ranging from "Madiba as an inspiration to Africa" to large pieces inspired by the 2010 World Cup.

Recycled Fashion - show-stopping fashion statements are being produced by resurrecting discarded items of clothing. This crafter is not shy with colour and ideas and he is destined to make an impact on local fashion. 

Bubble-wrap Animals - this crafter shows a unique talent in converting waste plastics, particularly bubble wrap into incredibly lifelike animals, that urge to be touched to check whether a pulse is beating.

Patchwork - fabric off-cuts are turned into works of arts and home decor items by creating patchwork, cushions, quilts and bags

We are not limiting ourselves to the above crafts and will soon be introducing recycled paper products, items from recycled tin cans unique products from coconuts. Any interested crafters or buyers must please contact us to ensure that this project grows from strength to strength and helps to promote sustainable solutions by providing employment in the creative sector.


New Appointment

We are happy to announce the appointment of our new Marketing Manager. Last week Tsepo Nkamba van Wyk joined our team and he will add a much needed breath of fresh air and a youthful flair to management. Tsepo has just completed a business degree at Pretoria University and is rearing to introduce his expertise to the organisation. Apart from Tsepo's business knowledge he has a passion for the arts, particularly music. Tsepo will thereforer play an active role in our new Youth Development Programme, which will be launched shortly.


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Talking Beads was established in 1997 through the inspiration of Tembeka Nkamba Van Wyk. She left a senior government position in Pretoria to address her deep seated concern to revive traditional arts and crafts in South Africa. Many of the craft skills were no longer being passed from one generation to the next and faced a precarious future. Tembeka's other concern was the empowerment  of women particularly those living in the rural and peri-urban areas. Talking Beads addressed both of these concerns by training women in craft and business skills. To date over 5000 people (predominnantly rural women) have been trained in the crafts and Talking Beads now has access to a large network of crafters throughout the country.

Talking Beads' primary objective is to promote and preserve African arts and crafts in South Africa by adhering to its slogan "Saying it the African Way".Within the Talking Beads family are three other organisations that support the aims of Talking Beads but have specific mandates. These are as follows:

Ngezandla Zethu (With Our Hands) - this is the training wing of Talking Beads and is responsible for training in the various craft skills in combination with training in business and financial management, design and marketing.

Blue Sky - this is the social upliftment wing and is involved in HIV/Aids awareness and support, and refugee rehabilitation

Africa Beauty - this wing promotes and produces African fashion and jewellery, whether it be traditional or contemporary.


The Launch of the Talking Beads web-site

It seems timely that as we enter the new year the Talking Beads web-site is launched. 2010 is a year of great expectations for South Africa and we wish to play our part in ensuring the success of the World Cup for our country but also as an opportunity to empower many in the poorer sector. A key element to success is good communication and so it is essential to have a web presence to facilitate lasting partnerships that explore and implement empowerment opportunities. 2010 is an exciting year for Talking Beads with many important projects to be executed.

One of our concerns has been the social divisions within our diverse society. Some of the problems can be attributed to the apartheid legacy but more recently there has been a rise in xenophobic insecurities. Whether the root cause of these problems be fear, insecurity, ignorance, or disappointment, the lasting solution lies in emphasising our commonalities and celebrating our differences. South Africa is rich in cultural diversity and this presents a wonderful opportunity to promote social cohsion and the values of "Ubuntu". Talking Beads will therefore be organising the "Umbadu Dialogue Series" at the National Museum of Cultural History in Tshwane (Pretoria). This will complement the other  projects we are involved in including the "House of Africa", the "Pitsa" arts project and the publishing of a book on African Beadwork.

Exciting and challenging times certainly lie ahead of us and will depend on the enthusiastic participation of South Africans and visitors alike..




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