When Nolubabalo Komsana, a single mom of three kids, moved to Cape Town from a rural region of South Africa in search of opportunities, she never could have imagined that one day she would be known as a master beader in the craft of bead and wire art. At the time, she didn’t know what she would do just to survive.
Once in Cape Town, Nolubabalo, known as “Nobs,” saw an advertisement from an organization called Streetwires Artists Collective, seeking participants to be trained in the craft of bead and wire art. Established in 2000, Streetwires provides training, support, and materials to women and men who were previously unemployed, to create bead and wire art. Nobs responded to the advertisement and joined the workshop.
Nobs showed a natural talent for the craft and soon became known as a “master beader.” She was then promoted to “sample beader” on a team of the most talented beaders who develop new designs and create customized samples for corporate clients.
Today, Nobs is Streetwire’s fulltime Sales Administrator. Her fluency in English, Xhosa, and Shona allows her to communicate easily with both the artists and Streetwires’ customers.
“Nobs treats each customer with the personal touch,” says Streetwires Production Manager Riaan Hanekom. “Even when faced with an impossible request, Nobs leaves the customer smiling.”
“I am happy because I know I am setting a good example for my children,” says Nobs, “and teaching them that hard work and a good attitude means success in life.”