Born in Zimbabwe, the individual paths of Lewis Kazuli and Tawanda Magwenzi merged in 2006 when they met at the markets in Cape Town.
Their love and affinity for creating products out of wire started when they were young children. Surrounded with older siblings making wire cars and toys, and a community of people who created what they imagined, drew them into a world of innovation they were destined for.
Spending much time out of doors, shaping and sculpting mud, and cutting mud bricks into imagined shapes, helped tune their spacial awareness and refine their skill in sculpting 3-dimensionally.
For both Lewis and Tawanda, the determination to push through with their entrepreneurial venture to create and sell their wire products, paid off over time. The financial pressure that comes with being self-employed was tough, but their commitment to being self-sustaining, continuing to build their dreams, kept them going when the going was rough.
During the lockdown of 2020, Tawanda was approached by his artist brother’s employer, Mrs. Erasmus from Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate. She was looking for a wire artist to collaborate and partner with. The merging of Tawanda and Lewis’ skills and talents with her resources and connections birthed their company, ‘Wire Maffia’.
Not being bound to street sales for their livelihood, they are now able to take on larger commissioned work that would not have been possible otherwise. They are constantly being challenged by new projects and their imagination keeps stretching to new borders.
Working in a team of four artists, Lewis and Tawanda lead Wire Mafia as an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial duo. Having grown up within a community of wire-toy makers, they took what they knew, developed and grew it, and turned it into an income-generating business.