Mambu means Thank you


Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Mambu

Supply chain

  • Trade partner: Mambu Design, microenterprise
  • Function: Producer
  • Structure: Own production facilities
  • Distribution: Direct import CONTIGO

Johannesburg to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)


Jewellery made of ostrich egg shells


Johannesburg (also called eGoli, meaning the golden place), South Africa – distance to Europe: 8,800km

Founded in 1988


  • Françoise de Oliveira grows up in Mozambique
  • From 1988: Françoise and husband Dominic produce bowls and decoration articles out of ostrich egg shells in Johannesburg
  • 2006: CONTIGO meets Mambu and becomes the first customer in Europe
  • Growing international attention and participation in trade shows
  • Mambu Design develops its unique Southafrican jewellery and fashion label
  • 2019: opening of an own boutique shop in Johannesburg for garments and hand-crafted jewellery
  • 2020:
    • March: complete lockdown in Southafrica, workshop closed down
    • May: despite easing measures, Mambu is still not receiving any orders. High dependence on tourism in South Africa.
    • June: workshop in Kensington closes down temporarily (planned 3 to 6 months), employees are entitled to funds from the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund).
    • October: the core workforce is to be retained, but if the order situation remains unchanged, layoffs will be unavoidable in order for the business to survive. Re-employment at a later date is not possible until the tourism industry recovers.
    • At the moment, most employees work from home (lower risk of infection, no travel costs, childcare). Some employees live and work on the premises. Mambu is testing new handicraft techniques to further generate employment.

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2006

Mambu5Why does CONTIGO with Mambu:
We have come to know Mambu Design as a small workshop with great craftsmanship and high artistic standards. Francoise de Olivera’s ostrich jewellery is unique in material, technique and design. We appreciate this creativity and could also contribute to further development with our own ideas. Francoise de Oliveira employs a predominantly female team of artisans, many of whom are single mothers. Their training and permanent employment is a central concern of Mambu Design. We have been contributing to this for many years with a reliable volume of orders.

Structure of the business

Status February 2020

Number of employees:

  • 23 employees (additional employees in busy periods)
  • 7 employees in own shops

Organisation of workforce:

  • Office/administration: Nomsah Magodo and Portia Chirimumimba
  • Design and product development: Françoise de Oliveira and Dominic McCable


  • Exports (25%) to Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, the U.S., Canada, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Botswana, Namibia, and Swaziland
  • Home market (75%)
    • in 2 Mambu shops
    • through several distributors


  • To expand exports
  • To continue participation in trade shows
  • To create jobs and higher income for employees
  • To improve the quality of the products
  • To diversify product range


Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade Approved


Fairtrade aspects

Mambu complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Average/minimum wage in this sector/region: R 1,560/month (R 78.00/day) (R=Rand)
  • Average salary at Mambu: R 3,440/month
  • Holiday bonus
  • Bonus as incentive
  • Weekly salary transferred to employees own bank accounts
  • Higher wages in case of overtime (Saturdays: 150% of normal wages, Sundays: 200% of normal wages)
  • Annual wage increase

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 9 hours/day (8am – 5pm)
  • 2 breaks (lunch: 1 hour, tea: 15 minutes)
  • 5 days/week

Social benefits:

  • Regular HIV tests
  • Pension for long-term employees
  • Housing is provided for employees
  • Paid holidays
  • Continued payment of wage in case of sickness or accident
  • Lunch provided

Educational opportunities:

  • Apprenticeships are offered and paid
  • Trainings are offered in order to learn and develop new designs and techniques


  • Work contracts are available
  • Payroll is available
  • Pay slips are available
  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO



  • Personal visit in Johannesburg (2010)


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: South Africa


Mambu Team_Schnee


Author: Janina Lange on 5. January 2021

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