Mavis is sew happy

“I realised that I was not academically inclined and did not do well at school and that it is extremely difficult to find employment without any qualifications,” she says.

Mavis also realised that she could not just stay home and do nothing, and that she would need to somehow generate an income for herself.

“I started sewing and making a living from this, but just sewed everything by hand.” Mavis’s mother inspired her to sew, as she always made clothing, pillow cases and the likes.

At 16 her mother taught her to sew and there has been no end to Mavis’s creativity since. She started making beautiful, colourful traditional dresses and a name for herself with these. When anyone needs traditional attire, Mavis is their go-to.

The fact that she could not produce more of these dresses at greater speed, became a problem and was detrimental to the growth of her business.

That was until a good Samaritan, Mara Kruger and her sister Lidia Ferreira read about Mavis’s need in an article in Kormorant and decided to lend a helping hand.

Mara had bought her daughter a Singer sewing machine around 25 years ago, but it was never used. The machine was later converted from a hand-worked sewing device to an electric sewing machine.

Both Lidia and Mara grew up doing a lot of needlework themselves and, just like Mavis, grew up with a mother who loved to sew. Due to this, the sisters felt touched by Mavis’s plea and the fact that Mavis was using sewing as a means to get by, and decided to help her out. Besides giving her just the machine, these sisters added some much-needed accessories such as scissors, pins, reels of cotton in various colours and a whole lot more.

Lidia and Mara met Mavis and her sister, Daphney Maluleke, and say that they were thrilled that Mavis had received all these items to boost her livelihood.

“I cannot express how grateful I am to Mara and Lidia,” says Mavis. “I promise that the machine they gave me is in good hands and that they will not regret giving it to me.”

Although Mavis did not know how to use the machine, she has since been getting lessons from someone who does, and is improving every day.

“I will never forget the kindness of these women, it means a lot to me.”

Furthermore, Mavis has an inspirational message for other young girls who find themselves in financially tight positions. “Get up and find something you are good at, and develop that skill,” she advises. “Stop selling your bodies as prostitutes or resorting to theft to put food on the table.”

Mavis thanks everyone who supports her journey and says that people can call her for orders on 060 4691 918.

Cerise Mtshatsheni

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