Gwayi pottery sector re-emerges

By Mhlomuli Ncube

AFTER surviving the downturns of the COVID-19 era, the pottery industry in Gwayi is making a sensational comeback.

The times were hard and the potters could barely survive.

The COVID-19 pandemic dealt this crucial industry, whose hub is in the Gwayi area of Matabeleland North a huge blow.

But for all the resilience of the clay in a potter’s hands, the traders felt the pinch and yet after all that it’s back to brisk business.

“Before Covid-19 I used to do business of more than US$1 000 a month. That went down to nothing at the peak of the pandemic. But thank God, we are slowly coming back and now am making roughly US$500 a month,” said one trader.

The array of pottery draws buyers from within Zimbabwe’s borders and beyond, giving a lifeline to the Gwayi community.

“I am happy things are getting better now. We are seeing the light now. Covid-19 was a huge dent in our business, but now we are slowly getting back to normal.”

Zimbabwe is one of the countries with the best clay soils for manufacturing pottery products and ceramics for local use and export.

The local pottery industry valued at over US$500 per year is one of the country’s major tourist attractions.