I Have A Name shared a beautiful post on their Facebook page about the men who create stunning beadwork animals and sell them on the roadside.
We often forget to pay attention to the people that gather on our roadsides. We are often surrounded by people who have so much talent that we miss on a daily basis. The ‘I Have A Name’ page often stops to listen to the stories of these men and women who earn their living on the roadside.
In September the page stopped to speak to a group of men working on beaded animals. The talented photographer started speaking to a man named Morgan and asked him about what he does.
“My name is Morgan, and I’ve been making beaded animals for the last 15 years. When I was a young boy we would make cars and trucks out of wire, and then moved on to making wire geckos and lizards.”
“In the early 2000’s the Chinese came to South Africa and brought affordable beads. I started experimenting with wire and beads. We now have a whole range of things we make, from birds to the big 5 .”
Morgan works with about 7 other men but each man does his own work and sales. Sometimes if there is a big order they all team up to make the workload easier. The ‘I Have A Name’ page asked Morgan how long it takes per piece.
“The big rhino here will take 3 or 4 days, but the small birds on sticks I can finish in an hour. The money is not great, but it helps us to make an honest living and to send our children to school. We once, a few years ago, got a very big order, but that happens very rarely. Sometimes we also have ‘flopped’ orders, like this big rhino – someone ordered it and then never came to collect it .”
Morgan and the other bead artists can be found on the corner of William Nicol and Peter Place in Johannesburg. Below are some amazing pictures from the photographer, including Morgan and his friends.