• July 10th, 2020

Furniture maker joins charitable township project

Donna Collins

SWAKOPMUND - At 57 years old, furniture maker Mary Murembe is inching her way closer to retirement, but before she retires, she still needs to keep the production rolling, even more so after being commissioned by a charity project to assemble dog houses for distribution in the informal settlements in Swakopmund.

Murembe’s decades of hardwork have not gone unnoticed, and her family business of making crafts and furniture in Swakopmund has earned her a good reputation, which is paying off. Teaming up with the ‘Township Doghouse Project’ has provided her with a new venture, and a welcome extra source of income. 

Murembe will be providing wooden doghouses on a regular basis, made from wooden pallets sponsored by larger companies, with production already in full swing for these simple design shelters, which have been dubbed “single quarters”.

The first eight have already been distributed in the DRC informal settlement through the  ‘Feed-A-Paw’ project. 
“We are very happy to be part of this project, which is helping the poor people with shelter for their animals, and we also welcome the chance to get in extra work to help us support our family in such hard times,” said Murembe, who has even enjoyed a “splash” on social media spreading the goodwill of this incredible initiative.

Murembe always strikes a distinctive figure with her colourful headscarf and layers of loose fitting skirts and tops, which although are well worn day wear, give her a defining look.  Her wide smile is one of her trademarks, so too are her hands stained with wood dye that have both cradled an infant and hammered nails into large chunks of furniture. 

She could also best be described as “mother earth”. She’s is a mother, a wife, a doting grandmother and runs her street furniture business as a family affair, which has grown from churning out curio wood carvings, basket work and for the past few years has focussed on making chic street furniture, which has found its way into many homes.

You will find Murembe on any given day at her post - which is at one of the Swakopmund Municipality furniture market stands. She is always busy sanding down a table, finishing off some staining or talking to a customer.
 Her husband, Godwyn, is a seasoned carpenter whose craft was passed down through generations, when back in the day they used more elaborate indigenous woods grown in Zimbabwe, which is her motherland. 

Murembe’srange of ‘street furniture’ is all assembled from their humble workshop in Mondesa. Here they store wood, and produce everything from bed side tables, head boards, cabinets, and even dog houses.  Pieces of wood are measured and cut by hand, carefully pieced together and styled, they are either painted white or stained very dark brown, accessorised with woven reed inlays or basket drawers. 

But it was Murembe’s display of doghouses that caught the attention of the ‘Township Doghouse Project’ recently, run by a small group of animal welfare volunteers who distribute doghouses to underprivileged animals, many of which are chained with no shelter against the approaching freezing temperature.  

The ‘Township Doghouse Project’ is working hand in hand with Feed-A-Paw, who are celebrating five years of feeding township animals in Swakopmund and Henties Bay, and have identified the pressing need for doghouses to provide shelter for these animals living in the informal settlements.

New Era Reporter
2019-05-10 09:12:45 | 1 years ago

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