The story of Mavis Nkuna personifies the power of celebrating small victories.
How can a rural woman, with limited opportunities, build a future and achieve a long term goal? By doing what her hands find to do.
I visited Mavis in June 2017, on a winter morning, at the majestically beautiful house that she built, every day for the past 6 years. The building is complete and the beautiful curtains hang, tastefully covering her windows from the harsh Limpopo sun. Her house is spotless with polished floors and tasteful furniture. One gets the feeling that everything that she does is intentional; every piece of interior décor in her house has been hand picked and saved for.
Mavis is the epitome of one who is organized, focused and positive - with a beautiful stillness that I admire. As if she understands something that many of us are yet to learn.
Mavis is 44 years of age. She was born in Nkambako village and matriculated at Mahwahwa High School. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Thomas Segobela, who is now a bus driver in Johannesburg. She is always very happy to see him on his twice-a-month visits.
They have one daughter, Zanele (26), who also matriculated from Mahwahwa High School and became a Metro police officer, residing in Johannesburg.
Mavis also owns a hair salon next to her new house.
She loves working with her hands.
When she was taught how to embroider by her mother, Angeline Ngobeni, working for Kaross became a natural next step in 2006. She is proud of her embroidery for Kaross, and everyday she will sit on her front stoep or her balcony and embroider stitch after stitch to complete the beautiful large scale cloths.
I think the story of Mavis is one that we all can aspire to - a mindful way of living, to achieve something deemed impossible, simply by doing what your hands find to do. One stitch at a time.