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Bennet the Carpenter

by Rich Laburn on May 4, 2010

in Londolozi Life

Bennet Mantonsi is both an outstanding tracker and carpenter.  I recently discovered this latter fact when I chanced upon him working on his latest creation: new signboards for the Londolozi camps.  Bennet had setup his work bench outside his house and was reeling through an array of tools, devices and sandpaper to put the finishing touches on the wooden posts.

For those guests and rangers who have had the pleasure of experiencing the wilderness with him and his ranger Alfie Mathebula, you will be able to recount his masterful sense of humour, tracking ability and genuinely warm nature.  However the other side to Bennet is his craftmanship, eye for detail and creative vision when creating wooden pieces.

Bennet’s range extends from small sign boards to large cabinets and even larger entrance gates for homes as can be seen in the video above.  His business ‘Swakumlama Hi Kwaswo Trading’ (You Get Everything You Want) is one of the many small businesses that is creating a groundswell movement of economic empowerment amongst members of the communities surrounding Londolozi Game Reserve.  We wish to applaud Bennet on taking the initiative to start his own business and use his talents both in the bush and in the community.

If you are interested in chatting more to Bennet, he would love to hear from you – email him at: swakumekahikwaswo@yahoo.com


Written, Filmed and Photographed by: Rich Laburn

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