Women of Tintsaba: Elisabet Ngometulu
Tintsaba wouldn't exist without its workforce of incredible women. In our ‘Women of Tintsaba’ series, we share their stories.
Like many Swazi women, Elisabet started making baskets when she was young, within her local community. Her professional weaving career started in 1986, when she would produce baskets to sell at markets in Manzini, one of Swaziland’s biggest cities. Elisabet came into the Tintsaba fold in 2000, seeking a full-time job to give her the financial stability needed to raise her seven children. It was then that she trained under Master Weaver Esta Zulu, and honed her weaving skills until she reached Gallery Grade, and finally Master Weaver status, herself. For Elisabet, it’s a long and costly commute on public transport from Tintsaba’s studio to her home in the south. Fortunately, she was able to move nearer to us, accompanied by her three young grandchildren who are currently in her care. Despite being busy from dawn until dark with work and family responsibilities, the first thing you notice about Elisabet is her beaming smile. Her dedication to, and love for, Tintsaba is undeniable. Since losing her husband and becoming a single carer for her children and grandchildren, her employment with Tintsaba has become increasingly important to her: “I trust Tintsaba, they are my life. They support me like a husband should – they help me when I have had to pay for funerals and school fees. They are always there to help me when I need it. I am very grateful to them.” The feeling is mutual, Elisabet.