Crafts that empower, uplift and inspire.

Artist Profile – Busisiwe Mayise

Busisiwe Khanyisile Mayise

Master Weaver - wire baskets


Busisiwe Mayise was born on 19 August 1959 and is from KwaMashu, KwaZulu Natal.

Busisiwe was born in the KwaNgongoma kwaDenge area. She has 9 siblings and she is the 2nd born of the family. She grew up in a comfortable home where her father worked and her mother stayed home taking care of the family. She went to Empakaleni primary school then went to Kwadayeni high school.

She moved to KwaMashu after she got married in December 1980 but sadly lost her husband in February the following year. She had 2 children and one passed on, now she only has has one son, and 2 beautiful grandchildren.

Busisiwe is a self-taught weaver, she learnt the skill on her own. She started making the baskets in 1997 to take care of her family. She started selling in Town(market) and her first basket was only R40.

She loves her work so much, it’s everything to her, and her only source of income. She has managed to build a house with just making the baskets and is extremely proud of this achievement. She takes care of her grandkids with the income she gets from making the baskets. 

She loves making baskets, and she always gives her best so her art work comes out perfect. She never wants to disappoint her customers and the people who gave her an opportunity to showcase her work.

All the designs from her work are from her head, she creates them in her head before starting the baskets. She loves to put together family lives, showcasing the warmth and joy of a family in her work.

Busisiwe has done workshops for the African Art Centre to teach others to make baskets like hers. She has also worked for Pascal (a local artist), and made baskets for her. She works with Hlengiwe Dube as well who is also an artist herself. Hlengiwe Dube inspired her a lot and she learnt a lot from her.

Working with great people like Hlengiwe, Pascal and the African Art Centre has helped her work grow so much, she has learnt from them how to master her art and she is grateful to them. And also grateful to Woza Moya, a place where she can continue to sell her work.

Busisiwe also does beautiful lidded baskets. Busisiwe is a master craftsperson and these baskets are becoming more difficult to source, as young people are not taking up this artform.

Visit our online catalogue

Visit our online catalogue to view the woven telephone-wire pieces that we currently have in stock. These are all made by master-crafters like Busisiwe Mayise.

These wire story bowls and jars are available to collectors, galleries and individuals who appreciate the skill and time that went into creating them.