Amongst the mountains that encircle the tiny African Kingdom of Swaziland is one that resembles a basking crocodile. At its summit is the world's most ancient mine (dating back 43,000 years) and at its foot a remote village - NGWENYA- 'the crocodile'. Here a small group of Swazi craftsmen and women - with age old artistry - breathe life into enchanting interpretations of the animals and birds of Africa imbuing each with its own irresistible personality.
Ngwenya Glass has been more than an inspiring success story. It is an environmentalist's dream. The products, which include a range of tableware, drinking glasses, vases, jugs and ornamental African animals, are all handmade from 100 % recycled glass.
Most of this is from Coke bottles, gathered from all over Swaziland. Not only are the people of Swaziland encouraged to collect the bottles, but Ngwenya Glass works with the local schools to instil in the children a sense of environmental awareness. In exchange for building materials and the sponsorship of the soccer team, the students must participate in clean-up campaigns.
As if willing the survival of the wildlife species that inspire their craftsmen to produce works of art; in 1989 Ngwenya Glass launched the Kingdom of Swaziland's most successful wildlife conservation fund. by donating a percentage of profits from its worldwide sales. Known as the Ngwenya Rhino & Elephant Fund , its proceeds go directly to Mkhaya Game Reserve, a refuge for endangered species in the Swaziland lowveld. Since the establishment of this fund, generous donations have been received from the likes of: The British Government; The European Union; W.W.F. (World Wildlife Fund of South Africa and the Netherlands); Doctor Felix Schnier; Aide Environmen; Engen, and His Royal Highness, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (who is an avid fan of Mkhaya and a regular visitor to the Kingdom of Swaziland!).
Ngwenya glass is proud to be helping in the fight to save the African rhino and elephant from extinction. For every little glass animal that we make for you to treasure, a real one is dying today somewhere in Africa, caught in an agonizing snare, being mutilated by poachers, or pitifully starving in a besieged environment. Ngwenya Glass is proof that business success and commitment to protecting the environment can, indeed, be a winning combination.
Help to save these animals before their time on Earth runs out for ever.