Minceka - beaded and embroidered cloths - are often worn, one wrapped around the waist and another draped and tied at the shoulder, sarong style. While the cloths are made mostly to be worn, sometimes they are made specially to be sold as panels to hang on walls and decorate their houses.
Significantly, mincekas often have the name of the maker and wearer beaded or embroidered on to them, which suggests that they are objects of great pride and individuality?.the Makhubele family has been central to the development and promotion of the contemporary version of this artform.
(From the exhibition guide to Dungamanzi, Johannesbug Art Gallery, May - August 2007).
The Makhubele family - particularly the wife, Jane - has made famous the 'Mandela shirt', in which the many superb, specially designed shirts worn by Mandela on various important occasions, over the years, have been adapted in beadwork onto cloth. For example, there is the replica of the shirt Mandela wore to celebrate his 80th or 90th birthdays; or the the shirt worn by him, when casting his vote in South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994. 'As well as being beautiful objects, they are also documents of historic and significant events'.
These unique beaded shirts are becoming increasingly rare, as Mandela is no longer well enough to dress up for special occasions as he used to.