Viva Afrika was established by Tessa Mantle in 1993. The project started with a small number of Ndebele beaders from the Syabusa district of the then Kwa Ndebele region.
Today, Viva Afrika provides employment to over 50 Ndebele women. Most of the women have a very low literacy level, therefore limiting their job opportunities. Furthermore, all the crafts of Viva Afrika are produced at home by the beadworkers, thus enabling them to care for their own children and preserve the traditional Ndebele lifestyle.