Skilful sculptor Wanda Masina happy to be his own boss
After nearly three decades of creating wooden art craft pieces, Wanda Masina keeps falling in love with his work , and says he would never trade his skill as a sculptor for anything.
Masina, 43, sells his art to tourists and locals at popular tourism sites in the Sabie area in Mpumalanga. His main work spots are at Mac Mac Falls and Sudwala Caves.
Masina said after realising the scarcity of jobs in the village, he asked his late uncle to teach him sculpting with wooden, the basic material which is abundant in his area.
"There were no jobs here, if you wanted a better life you had to go to Johannesburg and find a job. But I decided to stay behind when my peers went to the big city because I had to take care of my mom. I managed to pay my school fees with the little I made from trading," Masina said.
"I create wildlife, from bugs and birds to bigger animals. My inspiration comes from rich natural surroundings of my home province of Mpumalanga.
"I have cut myself a couple of times because it [knife] can slip when I'm etching corners and edges, but I put on a bandage and soldier on.
"When I grew up, I wanted to be my own boss and I have achieved it over the years."
Masina said he dropped out of school in grade 11 due to financial problems at home.
"But all my children's schooling is a priority and I want all of them to finish school and go to varsity because I couldn't," said the father of four.
Masina conceded business had been very slow since the national lockdown was put in place. His art pieces sell from R50 to R1,500, depending on the size.
"I cannot wait to go back to business as usual; staying at home is warm, but I need to put food on the table."