African Stories

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Conversations with Wire

Posted - April 18, 2017, by Vuyisani

We met Wire on a day trip to Uitenhage, It was a bright and sunny morning, we had parked the car in what seemed to be a safe area – we had been warned Uitenhage was not safe – and decided to walk and go on a little adventure. We took the warning from Daurt about the area very seriously however we wanted to see this little town founded in the 1800. With its old buildings and railway station built in 1875 which is believed to be the oldest railway station in South Africa.

Old town South Africa scenery  fascinates me, I love the way they seem preserved, almost stuck in time. I explore these towns conscious of our history as a country, I understand that less than 3 decades ago someone like me would not walk so freely in these town. I was curious to see this little town that had become the centre for resistance when in 1985 (only a few years after my birth) the police opened fire on a funeral procession killing a number of unarmed South African because they happen to be the wrong colour.

After doing a little shopping and exploring and talking to some very cool rustas about the herbs they were selling (Jay wanted to buy sum detox thing and I warned him he might die) we walked through a passage in the market headed towards what the locals had described as the best Indian food in town and there was Wire with all his leather bags laid out on the floor and immediately I was obsessed with the idea of featuring him.

I loved the product, loved it. What I loved about his bags was that they were different, handmade leather bags with an urban twist. It was so unexpected, I think like most people when I think of handmade leather bags I think of them looking more “traditional” – guys there was an over sized hand stitched black leather back pack with red detail – come on!

Getting to know this Zimbabwean born dj, radio presenter, artist, guitar player, and poet has been a complete joy, his story inspires me and I hope it inspires you too.


 Interview with Wire

African Stories:        Tell me about yourself.


I’m first and foremost an artist.

I see myself as an all-rounder. For me there everything I do is a form of art because it is a form of expression, poetry

music or collecting vintage clothing all these I do instinctively as a way to express who I am and what I stand for.

I love the process of creation, I love the freedom in it.


African Stories:       What inspires you?


Life, People, Art, anything really. I look for inspiration in the ordinary but often unexpected beauty of life


African Stories       What are your three basic life principles?


Respect – for life and the privilege of being here

Creation – constantly innovate and create art and products that are authentic.

Gratitude – Never take life or people for granted. Go into each situation with empathy and humility.

African Stories:      What is your legacy?

My legacy lies with my hand made leather items, I make bags and wallets and head gear. I put a little bit of myself in each product and my hope is to inspire the appreciation of handmade crafts. I hope to inspire and influence those who come after me to continue with and maintain the culture of hand crafted leather goods. 

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