About Monkeybiz

reviving the tradition of African Beadwork

Taking the love and knowledge that is passed down, over the centuries, from mother to child and becoming a bridge from traditional bead works into contemporary artworks. On the reverse of every tag the artists sign their names Monkeybiz is a Cape Town based Non-Profit Organization empowering women in townships to become breadwinners and community leaders by providing the skills and tools to create beaded art that is sold Globally through the Monkeybiz platform.

Traditionally beads through the ages were used not only to adorn the body, but as a measure of value in ritual and economic exchange between locals and foreigners. In traditional African rituals, a fine bead necklace or beaded piece is treasured because it is thought to impart spiritual energy.

About Monkeybiz

No two Monkeybiz items are the same

NOW the time for renewal has arrived. Monkeybiz is leading the revival of this venerable tradition by bringing to it a “fresh, modern aesthetic.” Empowerment. Each piece is designed and made by beaders in their own patterns and colours, and although there is a standard range of animal types when each artist makes her own animal every piece becomes unique. Some of the artists are more experimental and adventurous and therefore new animals and methods join the Monkeybiz range.

Monkeybiz uses discarded off-cuts from clothing manufacturers as the filler material for the beaded animals and from time to time has donations of beads. It’s based on the philosophy of making artists self-sufficient, to understand business and to take responsibility.

Each piece is uniquely designed by the artists and can never be made exactly the same again! This means that every Monkeybiz item is a collectable piece of art!