“Artisan entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of innovation and creativity developing new products, new services and have a positive impact not just on employment growth but also on our economy…” These were the opening words of the Senior Manager at Allan Gray Makers, Seth Mulli at the prestigious Artisans of Mzansi Celebration Awards on Saturday, 10 December 2022 held at Monte Casino, Fourways, Johannesburg.
The Artisans of Mzansi is a competition powered by Allan Gray Makers that shines a spotlight on African Artisan Makers in order to encourage more young people to join the technical and vocational trades in an effort to create meaningful employment opportunities in their communities. Walking away with a whopping R200 000 is Thamsanqa Myeza from Imbewenhle Airconditioning and Refrigeration who won the Mature Phase Category. The Innovation Phase was won by Mokete Ratlabala from Learn Base (PTY) LTD who received R100 000 for his business. Bontle Mmpela from Black Beard Group was the leading lady in the Growth Phase Category, also walking away with R100 000. For her brilliant idea, Rosemary Dube from Mota Yedu won R50 000 in the StartUp Phase Category.
Among the esteemed guests and keynote speakers, were SME Program Architect Octavius Phukubya who congratulated Allan Gray Makers on a campaign that identifies the underrated yet most crucial trades in the country. “Without artisans, we cannot thrive as a country. So, it is so fitting that it is Artisans of Mzansi that we are celebrating today.” The aim of the campaign is to grow and accelerate meaningful employment creation through responsible, technical and vocational entrepreneurship in South Africa. The country needs to significantly improve its technical and vocational education and training (TVET) ecosystem to produce the skills required to develop the economy and Allan Gray Makers, continues to spearhead meaningful relationships with TVET Colleges around the country.
With the tagline “Scale the artisan and celebrate the impact”, Allan Gray Makers has surely made a significance in artisans around the country.