Sewing communities together

Once every second week, women from all over Cape Town get together to have tea, get to know one another and sew yo-yos, also known as pompoms for the Every Woman Project in an effort to form unity among women in Cape Town.

On Saturday June 24 the women got together at the Bo-Kaap Museum to create an artwork in honour of Women’s Month – with material left over from a previous project.

Every year the women, who form part of the Woman Zone CT group, which has been going for the past five years, march from Iziko Slave lodge to the Artscape on Women’s Day, August 9, to commemorate the historic women’s march against apartheid which took place in Pretoria in 1956.

During last year’s march, one of their members, who is physically disabled, was transported on a truck, which the women decided to decorate with fabric.

But they received more material than they bargained for and were able to put the leftover fabric to good use through their latest initiative.

“We received 400 metres of fabric. We did what we needed to do to decorate the truck and the Cape Craft and Design Institute said why not make yo-yo circles and put them together. So now we’re thinking about all sorts of ideas to make an artwork to hang in the Artscape.

“On August 5 we’ll have our grand assembly and invite people to come and help us put it together. It’s about the journey as much as it is about the end product,” said Woman Zone CT director, Nancy Richards.

Ms Richards said she started Woman Zone CT to bring women from different walks of life together and celebrate what they had achieved.

Women from Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Clovelly, Glencairn and Sea Point got together and sat around a table with needles in hand, steaming cups of tea and cookies, chatting away and enjoying the opportunity to interact with women they may not, under normal circumstances, have met.

“Getting to know women and their stories in this town has been a huge and humbling experience for which I will always be grateful,” said Ms Richards.

The women plan to bead some of the yo-yos and sell them to those who would like to join the Woman Zone group. The funds would be used to cover the cost of making more yoyos.

“Anyone can do this. You sit, sew and chat away. The project symbolises women united. The list of the names of all who contributed will be below the completed work. We want to focus on what women have achieved,” said Ms Richards.

The next sewing workshop will be held on Saturday July 1, at the Woman Zone Library Hub, ground floor, Artscape. You can join by emailing Beryl Eichenberger at info@womanzonect.co.za or call 083 431 9986.