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Johannesburg, South Africa

- Hand painted candles

Tokoloshe works with Inspirations of Africa a company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The hand painted candles are inspired by the crimson African skies, bronze landscapes and gentle buttercup cream and green grasslands, reflecting the diversity of their many cultures. Ashley, Beauty, Esilly, Gift, Maria, Nonhlanhla, Prudence, Thokozile and Vusani make up the artisan team that designs and creates the beautiful hand painted candles. They all receive a fair living wage and like their products, the atmosphere in their workshop is lively. Together they design and create color, strips, spirals, squiggles and whirls to bring you the warm art of Africa. This is the team:

Ashley Sithembiso Ncube, is a single parent to a precious little girl named Michelle. Ashley was born in 1983 in Durban, South Africa. She was raised by a single parent who worked very hard to get her to where Ashley is now. "I currently work at a marvelous company that designs unique and stunning candle, as a candle glazer. I work with a considerate, heartwarming boss called Dawn P, who even keeps my brains exercised, helping me to be a better person."

Beauty Ndlovu is 26 years old. Sphiliswe is her African name which means opportunity to live. She came from Zimbabwe. Beauty is married with two boys aged seven and four. Her mother still lives in Zimbabwe, her father passed away in 2006. "I love listening to all the stories that the staff tell us, they are funny and make us happy and laugh a lot. It makes coming to work good cos we are happy. I've been working for Inspirations of Africa for almost five years, designing and painting candles."

Esilly Mgwenya is 28 years old. She came from Zimbabwe and has two children, a boy and a girl. Esilly has been in South Africa for five years, four of those years working with candles.

Gift Ndiweni is 22 years old. He is from Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa in 2004 after he finished 12th grade. He used to help his mother at home with the cooking and cleaning. Gift has been working at Inspirations of Africa for two years. Before joining Inspirations, Gift painted houses.

Maria Moromudi is 43 years old. She has two children age 26 and 25 years old and came from Pietersburg, South Africa. Maria has been working at Inspirations of Africa for seven years. "I enjoy designing candles more than housework, which is what I did before. I've learned a lot and gained a lot of experience that makes it easy to fix mistakes if any."

Nonhlanhla Mashia Mahose is 26 years old with no children. She has been working at Inspirations of Africa for six years and has gained a lot of experience. "I believe I am blessed to have such great talent of designing candles as this job demands so much skills and techniques. Above all I am a very cheerful person and not a day goes by without me humouring the people that I work with, including my boss who thinks I am very noisy."

Prudence Maphosa is 33 years old. She has a 12 year old daughter named Angel. Her Zulu name is Sinqobile...meaning to win. Before coming to South Africa she was a dressmaker in Zimbabwe. Prudence came to Johannesburg in 1995 and first worked as a housekeeper. From housekeeping she moved to catering and then was hired by Inspirations of Africa as a candle designer. Prudence has worked for Inspirations of Africa for seven years.

Thokozile Sibanda is a single African lady from Zimbabwe. She is 25 years old and works at Inspirations of Africa as an assistant in the glaze department. "I love my job, cozy, I work with people who like having fun and clowning the whole day. We also work hard when we need too. After work we sometimes go and braai (barbeque) with my workmates."

Vusani Khumalo is 25 years old. He came from a poor rural background in Dema Village of which he was an only child with no parents, only close friends.


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