Ziggi Goredema lost his job and home at the start of lockdown in 2020. He currently lives in a park in Cape Town where he designs and creates unique lampshades with recycling material to make ends meet and send money to his daughters. Photos: Ashraf Hendricks

Ziggi Goredema lost his job and home at the start of lockdown and began making and selling the hanging lampshades.


Cape Town, South Africa (17 August 2021) – Ziggi Goredema lives in a weathered tent in Van Riebeeck Park, near Cape Town’s city centre. On the tree above his tent hang unique lampshades, which he has made from materials like tent poles, wire and fabric coffee sacks. Goredema has been living under the tree for five months.

Goredema left Zimbabwe for Pretoria six years ago. He found work at a fruit and vegetable market but was struggling to make ends meet. A year later, he moved to Cape Town and found temporary work at an electrical hardware store. “That’s where I learnt this,” he says, pointing to the pendants.

Goredema lost his job when the pandemic started in 2020. Unable to afford his rent in Woodstock, he became homeless. He moved to the area opposite De Waal Park where other homeless people live but moved to Van Riebeeck Park after he got robbed.

“Being unemployed, life becomes so difficult,” he says. That’s when he started to make the frames for hanging lamps. “I learnt to make these out of hardship. You are unemployed; you have to eat,” says Goredema.

When the Level 5 lockdown started last year, Goredema lost his job and could no longer afford rent. He ended up homeless and now lives in a tent in Van Riebeeck Park.

Goredema says that after making his first sale, he began researching design ideas from internet cafes, sketching on paper and looking for materials. He says welders help him assemble the frames for a fee. Then he makes finishing touches like painting and threading.

Each piece can take at least two days to complete and costs about R250. “It needs to be perfect for someone to get value for money,” says Goredema.

He has some basic tools like a pliers, hammer, a couple of screwdrivers and a saw, but needs access to electronic tools. He says not many people visit the park, but he has sold some of his pieces to stores in Sea Point and the Garden Centre. He is still looking for a more permanent place to display and sell his pieces. The last time he managed to sell something was three weeks ago.

“I have to eat and reinvest from this. I have to call home and send something to my sister who lives with my two daughters,” he says. “I need tools and a place where I can display my work. I can find shelter and food from my work,” he says. “No one really expects to be homeless. It’s hectic. It’s hard. You are no longer regarded as a normal human being,” he says.

Goredema is one of the many homeless people living in Van Riebeeck Park. Tents and makeshift homes are scattered throughout the park.

Ziggi Goredema makes these light pendants and sells them from about R250 each.

Sources: GroundUp
Don’t ever miss the Good Things. Download the Good Things Guy App now on Apple or Google
Have something to add to this story? Please share it in the comments or follow GoodThingsGuy on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with good news as it happens, or share your good news with us by clicking here
Click the link below to listen to the Good Things Guy Podcast with Brent Lindeque – South Africa’s very own Good Things Guy. He’s on a mission to change what the world pays attention to, and he truly believes that there’s good news all around us. In the Good Things Guy podcast, you’ll meet these everyday heroes & hear their incredible stories:
Or watch an episode of Good Things TV below, a show created to offer South Africans balance in a world with what feels like constant bad news. We’re here to remind you that there are still so many good things happening in South Africa & we’ll leave you feeling a little more proudly South African.

Facebook Comments

About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *