Monkeybiz is a non-profit organisation based in the Cape which empowers women to become self-sufficient and acknowledged through their unique beaded artworks.

It is an internationally acclaimed organisation which exposes and sells its beaded artworks in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo.

Monkeybiz provides all materials, beads and fabric off-cuts. Because Monkeybiz does not turn people wanting to learn they trains the artists in the traditional African techniques of beading. The artists are encouraged and paid according to the quality of their work.

Monkeybiz has 3 main principles.

First is to empower women to earn and become financially independent thus helping their families and communities

Second to revive the art of beadwork. The beading traditional is being lost to modernisation, through Monkeybiz, we have the elders teaching the younger generation the techniques and then contemporizing the method through new colours and designs

Thirdly Monkeybiz is creating a platform for crafters to grow into true artists through collaborations with other artists

Each piece is designed and made by beaders in their own patterns, shapes, sizes and colours. Monkeybiz use a traditional method of beading, making separate pieces and then applying them to the shape. The designs take a long time as each bead is picked up separately and the designs include a process of counting.  Each artwork is unique and, on the reverse of every tag, the artists sign their names.

The originality, colours and patterns of these artworks remind us of those of Shweshwe… those of South Africa, the ‘rainbow nation’.

Eléphant Zébré has decided to support the Monkeybiz initiative by proposing a selection of it unique artworks on its online shop.

Please see also the Monkeybiz website: Monkeybiz

*Dans la littérature anglophone, l’expression « Monkey Business » signifie « bêtises » et est souvent utilisé pour taquiner  les enfants – en lui disant ‘T’es un coquin’