Cole Jade Claassen is a 20-year-old cane weaving prodigy at Cape Town Society for the Blind.  Cole is a young, dynamic individual who started his training at CTSB on 6th April 2021 under the watchful eye of his mentor and teacher, Lynette van Niekerk.

Cole is partially sighted, having lost the use of his right eye during an accident. This did not discourage him from upskilling himself and becoming something more than just his disability. Born and raised in Elsies River, Cape Town, Cole enrolled at Athlone School for the Blind from Grade 7, where he was initially exposed to the technical world of cane weaving and entry-level carpentry.

He fell in love with his handmade creations, everything from fruit and vegetable drawers, baskets, chairs, and bedside tables.

Cole is very proud of his four-pattern weave which he thought he would not be able to do; but he proved himself wrong and created the most beautifully woven seat, leaving his mentor stunned.

Cole says, “I love weaving and creating items that are sturdy and tightly woven. It is important that the correct cane pattern is used and that everything I make just looks beautiful.  I am proud of myself.”

Cole dreams of creating large cane furniture as he has already started helping some of our senior weavers with their large cane projects.

He would also like to upskill himself with basic and advanced carpentry, just like his grandfather, to create breath-taking furniture and other household items.