An East London woman and a Komani man teamed up recently to present a truly unique trophy to the Australian Rugby Union when the Wallabies went up against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth two weeks ago.
Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) creative industries sector specialist Yandiswa Sodaba from East London, joined forces with Mvuzo Ntlantsana of Mawawa Creations to create a hand-crafted rugby ball given to the Australian team as a token of appreciation. Ntlantsana worked on the wire frame while Sodaba handled the bead work and embroidery.
Ntlantsana first got involved in crafting back in 2006. “I took over from my father. He’s the one who taught me how to use my hands,” he said.
Building the rugby ball was a serious challenge, one that took lots of time and effort. “It took me about two weeks to perfect it and I had to start over three times,” Ntlantsana said.
“To perfect it, I had to make sure it looked exactly like a rugby ball.”
Once complete, the ball was handed over to the ECDC who presented it to the Australian team during their match. They also erected a pop-up shop at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to showcase the work of other crafters under the banner “Eastern Cape Craft Collection”.