If you thought you knew what ‘resilience’ and ‘defying the odds’ really meant, then think again. Because Ziggi Goredema’s story is about to leave you teary-eyed.
Ziggi Goredema lives in a weathered tent in Van Riebeeck Park, near Cape Town’s city centre, using his craft to create remarkable lampshades after losing his job and home at the beginning of lockdown in 2020.
According to Ground Up, Ziggi’s stunning lampshades which he makes from recycled materials such as: tent poles, wire, and fabric coffee sacks, hang on the tree above his tent. He has been living under the tree for five months now.
Ziggi left Zimbabwe for Pretoria six years ago, reports Good Things Guy. He worked at a fruit and vegetable market, but struggled to make monthly ends meet, and moved to Cape Town a year later where he found temporary work at an electrical hardware store.
He lost his job when the pandemic began and became homeless after being unable to afford his rent in Woodstock. He moved to the area opposite De Waal Park where other homeless people live but relocated to Van Riebeeck Park after he got robbed.
“Being unemployed, life becomes so difficult. I learnt to make these out of hardship. You are unemployed, you have to eat,” says Ziggi.
After he made his first successful sale, Ziggi began researching design ideas at internet cafes, sketching on paper and looking for other materials that could be of worth to his project. Welders assisted him with assembling the frames for a fee while he does the rest like painting and threading.
Each piece takes about two days to complete and costs R250.
“It needs to be perfect for someone to get value for money,” says Ziggi. He has basic tools like pliers, hammers, screwdrivers and a saw, but needs access to electronic tools as well.
Not many people visit the park, but that did not stop Ziggi from making sales as he sold some of his pieces to stores in Sea Point and the Garden Centre. He is still looking for a more permanent place to display and sell his work of art.
“I have to eat and reinvest from this. I have to call home and send something to my sister who lives with my two daughters,” he says. “I need tools and a place where I can display my work. I can find shelter and food from my work.” he says. “No one really expects to be homeless. It’s hectic. It’s hard. You are no longer regarded as a normal human being,” he adds.