Youths in Gwayi are earning a living from pottery, a once unfamiliar business which is now becoming very popular in the area.
When 28-year old Kholisani Mathe finished high school, he spent five years unemployed until the time he started accompanying his brothers and sisters to Gwayi business centre where they made different kinds of artifacts to sell.
He then realised he too can make a living out of pottery and learnt the trade, which he is now an expert in.
Using clay soil from a nearby farm, the potters make artifacts ranging from flower pots, tiles to washing baskets and some others resembling different wildlife species.
The process involves grinding the clay soil and mixing it with river sand as well as water before it is left for two days when it is shaped into any chosen design.
It is then heated for a full day in an oven similar to the one used in brick making.
Another two days is required to allow the final product to cool down before it is ready for display along the Bulawayo-Victoria Falls highway, where potential buyers pass by.
“All the designs you see here are through my won creativity. I did not go to any college for training to do this, but I learnt through just observing my brothers and sisters doing the job,” Mathe said.
However, production tends to be slow during the rainy season as it is difficult to obtain and grind clay soil.
Holidays are the busiest periods which bring brisk business as many drive through Gwayi to and from Victoria Falls, Hwange and Binga.
Mathe hopes that one day he will find his way to high level exhibitions such as the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).