Background Information on Anna Kruger
Updated: Nov 24, 2021
Anna Kruger started iThemba Curios in 2013 at the Stellenbosch Information Centre in Market Street, Stellenbosch, to use her experience as Home Economics teacher and 15 years in tourism retail to the advantage of the community in which she lives. She studied Home Economics at the University of Stellenbosch and completed her honors degree in 1986. After four years of teaching Home Economics, Biology, Needlework and Mathematics at various schools, Anna decided to focus on the upbringing of her three children.
In 1998, she started her career in tourism retail as manager at Indaba Stellenbosch and in 2006 was promoted to senior manager at the Out of Africa shop at Cape Town International Airport. After 15 years in tourism retail she felt it was time to give back to the community and live out her passion for social development and training. She started her own social enterprise, iThemba Curios to retail high quality locally produced goods to the South African and international tourist markets. Stellenbosch Crafts Alive NPC was established in 2015 to address the need for training and mentorship for local crafters to become sustainable entrepreneurs by using their skills to produce work and generate an income.
In her capacity as founder-director Anna has established Stellenbosch Crafts Alive as a Stellenbosch NPC that has the support of various local organizations. She is the category leader for Arts and Crafts in the e’Bosch NPC. In 2019 Anna was the project manager for the e’Bosch Heritage project and has helped to plan some 30 events in the different dorpies (villages) around Stellenbosch to celebrate their respective cultural heritage during September – heritage month. The highlight was the Festival of Talents that Anna had organized on the Braak to celebrate the talents of local performing artists and crafters. Anna is also on the Executive Committee of the Stellenbosch Arts Association and is a member of various organizations in Stellenbosch.
Since May 2020 Anna has put all her energy into establishing the Craft Art Centre at the Old Agricultural Hall on the banks of the Eerste River in Stellenbosch as a local economic hub to the advantage of the Stellenbosch community as a whole.
Anna believes that if we support our local entrepreneurs in today's challenging times by buying local, we can break the poverty cycle in South Africa. As the African proverb says: “It takes a village to raise a child”; Anna believes: “It takes a village to build a local enterprise.”