FASCINATING Basarwa artefacts have given a 46 year old woman a viable business idea and her stall along the Gaborone-Kumakwane road has become a busy spot for tourists and art enthusiasts.
Bridget Kuruneri says she developed a passion for San artefacts many years ago when her father used to do batter exchange with iron made products with Basarwa in
Serowe. The business which trades under the name ‘Lesaka La Badimo’ has since grown over the years and operates in Kumakwane village.
Kureneri says she grew up admiring products such as wooden stools, bowls and weaved baskets but she did not have much time to learn how to make them as she concentrated
mostly on her father’s products which were mostly metal work. “I am happy that through the passion and help from my uncle, I have learnt to make my own products such as weaved
baskets, mats, bags and other products made out of veld products. Kuruneri says there are good prospects for the growth of her business as more Batswana are showing interest in
artwork. Other products she makes include fl ower pots, coffee mugs and vases. While tourists prefer to buy artefacts from Basarwa, Kuruneri says she still gets good business from the international visitors
who pass by her stall almost everyday. “Even the Government is very supportive because they buy the artefacts to decorate their offi ces,” Kuruneri says. Kuruneri says her main concern is the open space where she operates from as her business suffers during bad weather.
“I have lost a lot of valuable products during the rainy season and I’m considering setting up a permanent weatherproof structure. I need to make it much bigger so that I can also incorporate a pottery business
as well.” Kuruneri says she also intends to extend her business to Gaborone where she can establish a larger and diverse clientele base and seek avenues for the international market. She also says she intends to offer tutorials
to interested people especially the youth. She is currently looking for a business partner who can take care of the administrative part of the business while she concentrates on production.