Peu started in Bolepu’s formative young days when he was fascinated by using seeds from Seringa, a popular South African tree; that is all around his neighbourhood. He used to drill them with a hand tool he made and designed. He started by just having fun and experiencing with playing around with different ways of creating accessories, and that opened his mind to other seeds, in the process learning how to incorporate them into his crafting. He later discovered how to incorporate tree barks and different fruit in making his artefacts. He went to parks and mountain; to different areas where the adventure to discover more lead him, unearthing some beautiful jams; others exotic.
Using these ingredients became an identity for Bolepu, hence the name Peu, it is unique ingredients not used by anyone else doing similar artefacts. It has helped develop his unique image, and the beautiful part is that it came naturally to him through his life journey. “It is about being natural”, he told us, “going back to nature, using the ingredients in their natural state.”
“Most things are made from natural things, but people don’t realise that”, he said, “We wanted to show them vividly the use of natural ingredients. Some of the ingredients we use still have their natural scent in their final state, even after being treated to be durable and long lasting, in the processes maintaining their natural psychotherapeutic properties.”
“The brand is guiding itself, it tells me where to go with it, what needs to be improved, added, modified”, he told us, “It’s like a musician writing a song, the song tells the musician where to create, recreate, add, or modify. A songwriter can write a song about Nonhlanhla, not knowing Nonhlanhla, but this Nonhlanhla would be telling the musician things.”
He told us, “I can go out and discover new, unique seeds from my neighbourhood or anywhere, be it neighbouring countries, or other parts of the world, seeds vary and there is a countless number of them.”
They also deal in making customized goods for customers, be it a Rosary, or a Tesbih made of seeds, to a number of other things, depending on what a customer specifically wants, Bolepu told us.
On their journey and progress Bolepu said to us, “The seed is becoming a tree, as we are now not just using seeds, but other material from the tree and its produce.” Some of the fruits, he uses are orange, guava, lemon, pomegranate, avocado, figs, etc, as long he finds that type of fruit durable and capable of being preserved.
Peu has ventured into making décor, in the future Peu sees itself having a factory, as of the moment Peu has two workshops where it produces its finished goods. Peu has managed to train and skill about 80 young people who are now in the business of creating for themselves, they can take whatever is close to them, be it an avocado seed or whatever is available and start producing –“Whoever said money does not grow on trees, clearly was looking at things from a side that lacks the sight of the many possibilities of harvesting money on trees”, said Bolepu. But a factory would allow Peu to reach more numbers, says Bolepu, as they will need to be people who collect the seeds, those who design the products, those who distribute, and so on and so forth, said Bolepu. He told us, “There are a number of things to be done, people can work with a lot things around them, there is people who make a living of recycling what people discard, turning ‘useless’ things to things with sentimental value”. Everybody has a special talent according to Peu, one just has to discover and unlock it.
Peu has won numerous awards, amongst these awards are Tswane tourism Awards 2012, the best Exhibitors at the International Co-operative day 2011 and graced many platforms in different parts of the world.
The brand is striving, and it supplies a shop in the OR Tambo Airport. People should lookout for varies number of launches in a couple of malls in sometimes to come, says Bolepu. There is a number of places as well in Pretoria that they supply to as well, one of them is the Kara Heritage Institute, Unit 65, Kgosi Mampuru St, Pretoria, 0001; another is Museum Park, in Bosman. There are also in a number of markets and exhibitions happening in different parts of the world, you can stalk them on facebook at Dipeung Jewellery to know more about their whereabouts and lined up events. The seed is germinating in the minds of the greats of this beautiful continent full of possibilities.
By Themba Ka Mhlanga