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The Craft Market at Spier, New Artists 2018: Maxwell Ngongang
By: Sue Heathcock   (2018-10-31)

Maxwell joined the craft Market at Spier this year with a colourful range of products made from African and Shwe Shwe fabrics. He’s currently studying for his Phd in Chemical Engineering at CPUT at the same time as building this business. He tells us more about what inspired his range.

“The more you study the more informed you become and the more you see things in a different way. As Africans, you find yourself wearing something that is out of your culture much of the time. So much that when you wear something that is actually cultural it surprises people. But it’s hard to find those things.

“I thought, ‘Why can’t the things we use on a daily basis, like a wallet or a backpack, why can’t they be in a material that is more relevant to our culture?’ When I attended my first conference I carried my laptop in a sleeve made from African material and so many people asked me about it. I saw this was an opportunity, that people would be interested in everyday products like this.


“My sister-in-law is a professional seamstress, so I had her expertise to hand. We’re now making pencil cases, backpacks, coin purses, laptop sleeves, notebooks, cellphone pouches, picnic blankets. Sue was the one who suggested I extend my range to make wine coolers for the Spier market.

“I sourced the material from East London – it’s really good quality, hard-wearing and the colour doesn’t wash out, just softens over time.”


You can see Maxwell’s full range of products at Spier Craft Market every day until the end of April from 10h00 to 17h30.