Talented teen brings colour to Tutume
Driving out of Tutume after a failed story recently, Voice Money’s attention was caught by a young man and his colourful assortment of goodies neatly laid out by the roadside.
Pulling over to investigate further, we discover the handmade flower pots, intricately painted in bright, eye-catching designs, are the work of Ookeditse Madobuzwa.
The 19-year-old tells us he mixes cement and sand together, using a fleece to mould the mortar into the design of his choice.
“I can make whatever design the customer wants,” declares the Tutume teen proudly.
As well as mortar, Madobuzwa uses wire, expertly twisting and bending the metal into all shapes and sizes to make his products, which aside from flower pots include various decorative items, like wall hangings and table ornaments.
Amongst his many offerings on display, a miniature, pale blue bicycle catches the eye and showcases the depth of the youngster’s talent.
Madobuzwa is also extremely handy with manila paper, and creates ornamental pieces to light up the home.
Explaining how he came to start his small business, the creative youth reveals that upon completing his Form 3 in 2019, he got a job with a local construction company.
However, the enterprise soon went bust leaving Madobuzwa unemployed and desperate.
With hunger knocking on the door, some quick planning was required to put food on the table.
“According to my research, I found that most Tutume residents are fond of growing flowers and plants in their homes. And I realised no one makes flower pots in the village!”
Intent on filling the gap but with no formal training in flower-pot making, Madobuzwa contacted a friend from nearby Sebina, Thabo Maja, for a crash course in the art.
Backed by his mate’s words of wisdom and the knowledge he gained from studying Art at Pandagala Junior Secondary School, the determined teenager set to work.
By November, he was exhibiting his pieces along the busy main road of Magapatona ward, where he has become a common sight.
“To me, a flower pot, more especially the colourful ones, gives the garden life. It also helps those who like flowers but are staying in rented places; they can grow them inside the pots and when they move to another place it becomes easy to carry,” he tells Voice Money, adding his products are suitable for both indoors and in the yard.
“They make a smaller space seem bigger, and, when placed in the house, it makes it more welcoming and homely,” says Madobuzwa.
Although he admits the materials he uses are costly, especially oil paints, and while showcasing his work on the street leaves him open to the elements, particularly the scorching sun and recent rains, the undeterred Madobuzwa plans to register his hustle as an official business.
“I have passion for playing with colours so it becomes easy for me to wake up to the flower pots trade every day. I do not have any intention of quitting any time soon; I want my business to grow!” concludes Madobuzwa, whose flower pots are priced between P50 and P100, while his decorative pieces range from P30 to P100.