Machilla Magic is a community based project working with Mozambican artists and their families to create unique, sustainable, fair trade crafts. It was started in 2002 in the remote fishing village of Macunhe, 25 kms north of Vilanculos, by Sandy and Snowy Somerville.
Sandy and Snowy came to Mozambique in 1999, where they lived in Machune Bay alongside the local ‘pescadors’ (fishermen) and their families, sharing their knowledge of sustainability and permaculture.
Dependent entirely upon fishing, the livelihood of the pescadors was being threatened by increased netting and trawling activity in the area, which greatly concerned Sandy and Snowy. The couple put their thinking caps on and, inspired by the enthusiasm of the local people, began teaching new skills such as creative knot tying (a natural adaptation for the pescadors), beading and carving. Sandy & Snowy supplied tools, raw materials, design ideas and marketing support and with that the enterprise took off and Machilla Magic was born.
Their early endeavour evolved and expanded and Machilla Magic artists now produce a wide range of unique handcrafts created from local sustainable resources, to tourists, local lodges and the home decor market.
I personally met Sandy in about 2006 and was amazed by what she was doing for the community. They started off with a few crafts and it slowly grew over the years. Eventually I asked Sandy to design items for me and we have worked fantastically well together over the years. Machilla Magic’s artists even make their own paper for their packaging- talk about self sustaining. I am their number one fan!
Azura has been a supporter of Machilla Magic for many years as we believe in their ethos of using sustainable resources and training the local community to be self-sufficient as this is a great gift. We sell their artists creations in our Trading Stores and they created a number of unique décor items for our lodges, given the lodges a touch of Mozambican magic.
Sandy & Snowy work with 57 artists and their families who are self-supported by the crafts they produce. If you are interested in more information on this amazing project, please visit www.machillamagic.com or contact Sandy on firstname.lastname@example.org.
General Manager Azura on Quilalea Island