The Rare African Leprechaun

St. Patrick’s Day had us thinking – if the lucky Irish Leprechaun had an African cousin he would probably look like this…

Rose and I spotted this intricate green beaded suit at Design Indaba and we thought St. Pat’s would be the perfect time to share it with you.

But all jokes aside – this crafted masterpiece has an excellent story behind it. It’s handmade by over 40 women from several communities in the Valley of 1000 Hills region, and made up of over 400 individual patches of bead work. The suit was designed by international award-winning fashion designer, Terrence Bray, for Woza Moya an income-generating project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. The project spanned eight weeks from conception to completion and was designed as a “go green” initiative. It also provided an income for the 40-odd women who worked on it.

The suit consists of a suit jacket, pants, a top hat and an isagila (a traditional Zulu walking stick). Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, it will hopefully provoke discussion around environmental issues. Words and phrases related to green issues are featured on the suit.

The Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust assists men and women infected and affected by HIV/Aids, as well as families in need of an income. They support over 300 crafters with sustainable employment and provides training and a market for beautiful, handmade, contemporary crafts. Woza Moya is known for its beautiful beaded jewellery, which is sold around the world. It also produces a range of wirework, fabric-painted mats, conference bags, crochet and ceramic items. Woza Moya is the home of the Little Traveller, which is a tiny beaded doll that travels the world spreading a message of love and hope. By making Little Travellers, families have been fed, lights have been switched on, children have gone to school, water has poured out of taps and, most importantly, hope has been restored.”  –

If you can recall, Woza Moya is also responsible for last year’s Most Beautiful Object in South Africa winner, The Dreams for Africa Chair, which symbolises hope and the importance of dreams, whilst also raising HIV/Aids awareness. On display at this year’s Design Indaba, the chair usually travels around South Africa and abroad.

A happy St. Paddy’s Day to you all!

Love, Rose and Marica x x

Images and  info via Design IndabaThe Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust

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