At the end of 1998, at the age of 18, Siyabonga completed Grade 10. As his family was in financial difficulties, he was unable to return to school to start Grade 11. He tried to find work during the next year, but had little luck apart from casual unskilled part-time labour. He did however make friends with the Zimbabwian Craft traders at Howick Falls and they showed him how to craft with wire and beads. At first, Siyabonga hawked his products around the streets of Howick and then began to sell directly to the curio outlets. His sales help to support his family as he is the second oldest of six children and his parents are unemployed.
In 2003, Siyabonga was not only able to help support his family, but was able to realise his ambition of returning to school. He managed to combine his business with his schoolwork and plans to extend his business and follow a career in art and craft.
Siyabonga’s work is available through most of the craft outlets in Howick, but if visitors would like to see him work, appointments should be made through the Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Office.