Monkeybiz is a beading project based in Cape Town, South Africa that recognizes and develops the artistic ability of people who have never had the opportunity to express themselves through art. Monkeybiz is dedicated to reviving the tradition of African Beadwork, taking the love and knowledge that is passed down over the centuries and becoming a bridge from traditional bead works to contemporary artworks.
Because Monkeybiz chooses to work primarily in impoverished neighborhoods that were created under South Africa's former system of apartheid, the majority of Monkeybiz artists have known poverty for most of their lives. Against this background, Monkeybiz has achieved tremendous impact by providing a basic income to many families who would otherwise continued to struggle with income insecurity. All materials, tools, and training required to make Monkeybiz products is given at no cost to the beader. Additionally, artisans are paid immediately for their work before the product is even brought to market. Every artist is set up with a bank account and training in money management, and each Monkeybiz beader receives a monthly contribution to a life insurance policy.
Monkeybiz is a nonprofit organization. Any additional funds from charity sales, gifts or donations are given back to the beaders to purchase food, clothing, healthcare, and educational supplies.
Your purchase of a one-of-a-kind Monkeybiz beaded animal empowers an individual artisan to reach their potential and transforms the community they live in.