A cancer survivor’s hand-praying jars become a hit with South African’s . 

Authenticity and creativity are what enthused Homely with Zama from its inception as a therapy project to being officially launched as a benevolent craft that displays the sentimental values of art in gifting. It is also the reason why the founder, Zama Nxumalo, was keen to share her therapeutic business strategies that resonated with her cervical cancer subsistence. 

“My healing journey proved productive because of the decision I made to include God in each and every step I took from that point moving forward,” she said.

A gift to an unborn child by Homely With Zama . Photo: Provided

The twenty-four-year-old was already at stage two when she was diagnosed in mid-2018 with cervical cancer, which eventually led to mental insanity. “When my doctor broke the news to me, I was beyond shock[ed], I froze. I made him repeat it quite a number of times before it dawned on me,” she said.  

Nxumalo was persistent in getting treatment right away as she was already pressured to deal with accepting her condition and finding balance trying to complete a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Johannesburg. 

“I started treatment right away because the results showed unusually rapid progress of the cancerous cells,” she said.  “God’s grace carried me throughout the whole time until I was proclaimed cancer-free before the end of October 2018, even though [the state of my health] was upside down, I am truly thankful,” Nxumalo added. 

Her healing journey stemmed from daily production of handmade prayer and customised affirmation jars, customised journals, graduation packs, explosion boxes and sentimental cards. This eventually birthed her business.

“I took a picture of a jar I had customised for myself and shared it on my Instagram profile. People started to show interest and sent me DIY ideas and I made them,” Nxumalo added.  “I tried to incorporate my craft [with recycled pins and paper boards] to make it more fun and it worked.”On May 1, 2019, Nxumalo was already known for her inspiring gifts-wraps conveying a message to cherished loved ones through products that brought personality and the value of art in gifts when she officially launched her business. 

Her popularity on Instagram has led to opportunities for her visibility as a young inspiring cancer-free businesswoman. This led her speaking on various stages including the Art 24 Academy at the Joburg Theatre and Phenomenal Women event hosted by the University of Johannesburg to speak about her phenomenal journey. “I have been invited to numerous small business summits and functions to speak about Homely with Zama, and I was presented with opportunities to showcase my work,” she said. 

Busisiwe Baloyi (29), a primary school teacher who happened to see a post of a well-known actress, Mona Skejana’s, customised journal on Instagram was astonished by Nxumalo’s work.  “I purchased a letter board for my home to help me speak life to it, not to mention how the journal is my favourite[which] I gift my special people with,” she said. 

She added that Homely with Zama has a special touch and hopes her precious products are making a change in people’s lives as she has seen hers through positive thinking.

Nxumalo hopes her creative handmade work will passionately elevate other people as a daily inducement. “I want to grow as I learn and be a role model to people going through tough times. I will continue creating more crafts that will bring optimism and healing into people’s lives.”

FEATURED IMAGE: Homely with Zama founder, Zama Nomalanga Nxumalo. Photo: Provided