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Side hustle Wednesday: Here are five uniquely African ways to make extra money this Africa Day

Africa Day is celebrated on May 25 annually. Picture: Cienpies

Africa Day is celebrated on May 25 annually. Picture: Cienpies

Published May 25, 2022


Durban - Africa Day is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the Organisation of African Unity on May 25, 1963. This organisation we have come to know as the African Union.

Africans have always been innovative and entrepreneurial, and to celebrate such an important day on the continent, here are five uniquely African ways to make extra money:

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1. Make woven grass mats (icansi)

Icansi. Picture: Twitter

Traditionally made by Zulu people, specifically women, woven grass mats are made from the cyperus marginatus or cyperus immensus plants.

These mats are light but can be rolled out on the floor to sleep on as well as to sit on. They are presented as gifts in ceremonies and hold cultural significance.

To pursue this side hustle, you need to get in touch with those who are skilled at making these beautiful mats and ask to be taught.

With their simple yet striking aesthetic, these mats can be great for anyone who wants environmentally friendly pieces of furniture in their home.

2. Make traditional Sotho hats (Mokorotlo)

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A man wearing mokorotlo. Picture: Rixipix

These straw hats are synonymous with traditional Sotho clothing and Lesotho itself, with an image of mokorotlo appearing on the country’s flag.

They are made from the indigenous grass known as mosea. The conical shaped objects are made by twisting mosea reeds that are held in place by rows of twine.

Mokorotlo is very popular, with prominent Sotho people often wearing it to showcase the pride they have in their heritage.

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Online retailers sell the hats for up to R 1,250.00 each, making this a great way to make money.

3. Traditional beading

A traditional necklace.

Various ethnic groups within the country make stunning jewellery from beads. This jewellery is mostly worn for ceremonies.

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In Zulu culture, the bead-work was a woman's form of expression, with girls making secret messages onto the jewellery for young men whose affection they sought.

They would also make them for friends, families, and themselves. Beaded jewellery has stood the test of time as it is still in demand.

4. Teach traditional Tswana dance (Setapa)

Performers doing setapa. Picture: File

The dance is named after the Setswana phrase ‘go tapa tapa’, which describes the tapping motion of the feet.

Historically, setapa was only performed during the harvest season, in the month of April but now can be performed at any time.

If you have the moves, you can make money teaching others this important dance.

5. Give tours of your area

The Soweto towers.

South Africa has a thriving tourism industry, with foreigners coming to learn the intricacies of the many cultures we have.

This presents many opportunities to showcase the often unseen places of the country.

If you live in a vibrant area with historical significance, you can conduct tours and teach people about the interesting facts of your region.

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