Victor Chiteura (South Africa)
Victor Chiteura is proud to be called Zvakanaka, a term of endearment bestowed upon him by his crafter team. Zvakanaka means ‘maker of nice stuff’, a modest compliment for someone whose reliability and attention to detail and quality places him ahead of his competition in the wire craft sector.
Victor was born in Zimbabwe in 1968, one of four children whose family lived in abject poverty. His father died when he was ten, leaving his mother to fend for all of them in their rural home. Victor left school in grade 8 to find and provide financial support for his family. He moved to the city when he was 16, selling cigarettes and constantly job hunting, even living alone on the streets for two years, selling vegetables to survive. It was during this period of extreme poverty in 1990, that Victor began to teach himself craft. For the next 15 years, Victor worked in the crafts industry, barely making a minimum wage.
In 2007, Victor came to African Home and his collaboration has opened up a world of opportunity for him. Ten Thousand Villages, a large nonprofit fair trade business, constantly sends orders his way, so pleased with the quality of his work. And, Victor is the key artisan making African Home’s famous kippot from recycled soda cans. Since joining African Home in 2007, Victor has had a relatively constant flow of work and has even bought a car, with their assistance, further helping him fulfill the orders that come his way.