A Colourful Experience

Discover the rich culture, history and nature of the Soutpansberg,
Northern Limpopo, South Africa.
Heritage, tradition and knowledge

Kheila Ngobeni

As a traditional, rural Tsonga women, who was born from royal ancestry of one of the well-known Tsonga lineages, she learned everything about Tsonga traditions, customs and values, while growing up. She lives in the remote rural village, Khaxane, in the Giyani district.

For all her life Kheila is producing colourful beadwork, embroidered cloths and other body decorations, initially for herself, but for many years to earn some income from her beautiful handcrafts.  These do not only include body decorations  and embroidered minćeka, traditional Tsonga dolls and marriage baskets, but also sleeping mats and other household utensils, like clay pots and baskets.

Her cooperative of 10 women, Dzimo Agricultural Coop, est 2005, is producing Marula beer for the annual Marula ritual ceremony at the Muti wa Vatsonga Open Air Museum and the Mopani District Marula Festival.  She has often been consulted by researchers regarding the traditions and culture of the Tsonga people.