Ex-con’s tree art



August 16, 2016
Ex-con’s tree art

Anwar Flowers Khan proudly shows off his creations. CREDIT: Manqoba Ngidi

Jail time taught this armed robber how to use his hands constructively.

A former prisoner, who was jailed for armed robbery, weaved his way out of a life of crime one palm branch at a time.

Anwar “Flowers” Khan says during a nine-year stint in prison for armed robbery, he learned to use his hands for something more constructive.

The 44-year-old father of 10 was released from Riebeek Kasteel prison 10 years ago.

Unemployed and determined stay out of jail, the Ocean View oupa decided to make a living out of weaving palm branches, a skill he taught himself in jail.

“I used to steal from people but when I was released from prison I told myself I’m never going back there.

“I always loved the palm tree but never thought I could do anything with it,” he tells the Daily Voice.

“When I was in jail I had a lot of time on my hands and I started teaching myself to weave. It took me five years to get it right.

“Now I can weave almost anything, even my shoelaces,” he smiles.

Since his release, Anwar has already had several orders for weddings, parties and even had his work exported.

“I was selling in Kommetjie one day when a woman asked me to weave some branches for her sister who lives in Spain,” he says.

“It was her 59th birthday so she asked me to weave 59 branches for her. When I was done she wrapped it in bubble wrap and off it went.

“It was a good feeling.”

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