© 2017 by MAOKWO @copyright

Our story

Laura Nyahuye, Chief Executive Officer Maokwo


     Laura’s Story

I am a Mother, an Artist, a Speaker, a Storyteller, Tutor, Community Worker, a Creative writer, an Implementer at Maokwo Social Enterprise. I am currently a Senior Research Fellow at Demontfort University. I have a call to design, to speak, to encourage and to write and to bring communities together.  In summary l am here to serve


 I create body adornments to address social issues and challenge perceptions. I practice this by exhibiting, storytelling and community activities. I am passionate about women’s issues, the next generation, domestic abuse, mental abuse, isolation, migration,communities and seeing fellow artist thrive. I’m driven by the belief that these issues can be tackled. With a person focused support, lives can change. I personally experienced the positive result of focused support and l have witnessed it many times. In the past I have had the privilege of working as a support worker in various hospitals as well as the community.

My various job roles have exposed me to people from various walks of life and l feel enriched by it. I am inspired by life experiences and culture (especially of those who have migrated). I have a deep desire to see change in communities using art as a vehicle. I have witnessed Isolation, mental health and vulnerability. To date l have enjoyed more than ten years of community work.  What drives Maokwo?.........


Maokwo (pronounced …MA-O-K-WO) was born from life events. Events l went through and events l witnessed. Whilst these events were unfolding, I was not making mental notes to self. Notes like ‘Laura…note that incident down you might need it later’. I went through the raw joys and sorrows of it all. The plan to turn the events into a platform to help others came during the healing phase. I started to mind map the journey and came to the realisation that the experiences l have faced, has the potential to help others. Why the name Maokwo? Maokwo is a Shona word (my mother tongue) version meaning ‘Hands’. Hands physically and metaphorically speaking have a big role in our lives. As humans we refer a lot to our hands Phrases like ‘it’s in your hands’ ‘it’s in God’s hands. We make with our hands. There’s a belief in Zimbabwe that a child is born with clenched fists because they are holding their gifts. As they grow they slowly let go, sharing their gifts and talent with the world.



I say; “our hands are made to MAKE, TO CREATE, TO TOUCH LIVES, TO HEAL AND TO HEAL OTHERS” ... ‘what do you have in your hands?’






Karen Dhlamini, MBPsS MBACP BSc (Hons) Psychology, MSc Integrative Counselling. - Mental Health Advisor and Training Consultant Maokwo 


My background in training, psychology, counselling, coaching and more recently as a blogger means I can draw from a wide range of tools and experience when supporting Maokwo clients. Laura’s passion and creativity inspires me to offer our clients the very best at all times. Culture and integration are areas of great interest to me as they have been relevant in my studies, work and life experience. I welcome opportunity to help inform others in this area as well as other aspects of family life.


I know that the work we do at Maokwo is essential in helping women and families respond to the demands placed on them through life’ circumstances while helping equip those in position to help. By working with and supporting frontline staff we help them by giving them extra tools that will hopefully give them more confidence in their job roles