Twelve years ago, destiny came knocking on the doors of one local artist, Lorato Rantlhorwana.
At the time, Rantlhorwana was employed as a housemaid and worked three days a week. Her luck turned around when she heard that there was an elderly couple that was looking for the services of a housemaid.
She left her then employer and embarked on a journey that today puts food on the table for her family of six.
Upon arrival at her new place of employment, the children of the elderly couple decided to teach her quilting and patch work in her free time, and the rest is history. Seeing that she was very talented, she would later move on to run a store that the family owned at the Craft Market.
Although the relationship did not end well, she tells BG Style that she is forever grateful to the family for they awakened something in her, and gave her something that ensures that her family does not go to bed hungry.
“I am not educated, and only went as far as Standard 7 which I wrote at the Old Naledi night school,” she explains.
She says that last year when the family relocated back to the U.S.A she decided that she was not going to work for somebody else and would instead focus on her passion.
“I decided then that since both myself and my husband had the skills to do quilting and patch work ,this was something that I could pursue fulltime,” she says. As luck would have it, she met with Rebecca Lekgaba who occupied a studio at Thapong Visual Arts Centre, and offered her that they could share the space. She went to register as a member of the art centre.
“Since I am not educated, I rely on my children for help with other aspects of my work,” she says. She says that she creates different items such as skirts, bags, quilts and cushion covers. “Today, I can proudly say that I look forward to imparting the skills that I have to the youth,” says Rantlhorwana.
To showcase her work and look for customers, she uses platforms such as the Phakalane pop up market and Women's expo. “Business is still slow, but I will get there eventually,” she says.