For carpenter Andries Mooka, it literally pays to dream. Every morning he wakes up with a vision of what he wants to design. And his products have gained popularity in South Africa and on the international market. The Bela-Bela, Limpopo native told Vutivi News that he has always had an affinity for creative arts, which led him to officially register Mooka Carpentry in 2018.
He fell in love with woodwork while at school.
“I did woodwork around 2007-2008 while I was in high school. (But) as time went on my interest in the craft faded,” he said.
“Years into my adulthood, I remembered the love I had for woodwork and I decided to take it up once more.”
Mooka designs many forms of products such as shelves, tables, chairs and doors.
“Whenever I work on a project, it gives me peace and it brings great joy to my heart,” he said.
He explained that the smell of sawdust heightened his senses.
“I am always eager to get to my workstation and immerse myself in the dusty smell of sawdust,” Mooka said.
Also, customer satisfaction motivated him to pour his heart into his work.
“I get a sense of great fulfilment when a customer comes to me and is chuffed at how a particular product came out,” he said.
“Even though some of the designs are mine, I (allow) clients to tell me what they want and how they want it so that they too, can have their dreams come true.
“Because of this I find myself not wanting the day to end because of that addictive atmosphere of hard work, dedication and an unmatched love for the craft of woodwork.”
Explaining his creative process, Mooka said that many of his designs were found in his dreams.
“I will dream of a particular design, and the moment I wake up I grab my sketchbook and draw the design I saw in my dream,” he said.
“I then go to my workshop, work on the product and then… my dreams become true.”
Mooka uses most kinds of wood.
“I use plywood, super wood, melanin boards and rafters. I essentially work with all kinds of wood, but I use these forms of wood because of my customers,” he told Vutivi News.
He said that he relished the opportunity of competition from other carpenters as it motivated him to become better at his craft.
“Whenever someone comes to my workshop and requests a quotation, sometimes they go to another carpenter to have the product made at a cheaper price,” Mooka said.
“It does not sadden me, because I know that many of them come back to me so that I can fix the products made by other carpenters.”
He said that he was using social media to sell his products overseas.
“I’ve done works for clients from the United Kingdom and Canada… I do not allow this to get to my head but instead, I use this as an opportunity to remind myself how far I have come.”