Ngwenya Glass | Sense Africa

Jenny's Blog

Ngwenya Glass26th February '20

In 1979 a glassblowing factory called Swazi Glass Craft was created as part of a Swedish Aid Project. Machinery and equipment was imported and a number of Swazis were trained in the age old art of glass blowing.

However, four years later the factory ceased production and the disappearance of glass animals was noted by collectors, in particular by the Prettejohn family.

The Prettejohn family arrived in Swaziland to investigate and found themselves the new owners of the only glass factory, at the time, in Africa. They asked around and found four of the original employees, including the master glass blower. Today Ngwenya glass employs over 70 workers and is a fascinating place to visit, well known as Eswatini’s “hottest” attraction!

It is also environmentally friendly; the products are all made from hundreds percent recycled glass, they use waste newspaper as packaging and reuse greywater within the factory. Purified old engine oil and oil from KFC is used to fuel their furnaces and solar panels have been installed on the factory roof which provides a fair bit of its electricity.

Ngwenya glass also has an indigenous tree planting program, they organise environmental clean-up days and encourage schools to pick up litter in exchange for donations of building materials and sports kit. Ngwenya Glass is a positive enterprise which also cares for the environment.

Click here to find out more about Nwenga Glass, to take a factory tour and view their products.

Sense Africa provides bespoke self-drive, privately guided, or group guided tours to Eswatini which provide opportunities to go to Nwenga Glass factory or it can be included into a self-drive route. Contact us to discuss the options available.

Jenny Bowen,
Director and Founder of Sense Africa

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