Global EditionASIA 中文双语Fran?ais
Home / Lifestyle / People

伟德国际棋牌游戏:Kenyan rural women broaden revenue streams through basket weaving

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-14 07:01 澳门皇冠赌场网站
Share - WeChat


NAIROBI -- A group of women deftly weave sisal baskets under the cover of a tree in a sleepy Katangi village in Machakos county, east of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

For these women, weaving has become a crucial source of economic empowerment and a significant part of their cultural heritage.

"The way I am dressed and the way I look is because of doing this kiondo (basket) business. I do not have anyone helping me," says Peninah Mueni, the group's chairlady.

"Weaving has seen me educate my children and do other things which would have been impossible if I were not weaving," Mueni told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Mueni's association of weavers which was founded in 2015, hails from the Kamba tribe, a Bantu-speaking community that resides in the vast southeastern Kenyan lowlands.

The name of the group in translated English means love your neighbor. It constitutes 30 women of mixed ages who identified a need to generate income amid scarce employment opportunities and low levels of education.

"In a month we can weave up to 70 baskets of different sizes; each member can receive about 15,000 shillings ($129.38). After we fulfill an order, each member is paid according to the number of baskets they have woven," says Mueni.

Their most recent order came from South Africa, where they sold 100 small baskets. Other international markets that they have penetrated include Ghana and China. Word of mouth has proven a successful marketing strategy for the female weavers.

The women unanimously agree that the group has been supportive when one of them falls into misfortune.

"We are like sisters here, we support each other with what we can, if one of us is sick we pool resources to support them. If someone has fallen sick in the middle of weaving we take up their project and still pay them," says Mueni.

The group's business acumen is demonstrated in their subsequent investments. They have bought 100 goats which they dispose of during important holidays such as Christmas. In addition, they are the title deed holders of a small piece of land within their locality.

"The goats are distributed among the members with each receiving a certain number to look after," Mueni says.

Jecinta Kimeu loops over one sisal fiber over the other, unheeding the exhaustion in her hands. It is an activity she has been doing since she joined the group at its inception.

"I can weave around 10 bags in a month and earn some money to fulfill family and personal needs. The group has helped me and I see myself continuing with this trade for a long time to come," says Kimeu.

In Kenya, the art of basket weaving is a long-standing tradition practiced by the Kamba, Kikuyu, and Giriama ethnic communities. It is an enduring undertaking that forms the identity of these Bantu tribes.

The preferred materials for weaving include sisal, reed, papyrus, bamboo and banana leaves.

At present, weavers line the inside of the baskets with a cloth and add leather straps as handles among other modern embellishments to resonate with the modern-day customer.

Kimeu affirms that the women have been compelled to tweak their weaving techniques to create better contemporary designs.

At only 24 years, Irene Syombua is the youngest in the group. She joined the women after witnessing their lives changed by weaving.

"As I sat with the women I saw that they made money and that changed their lives whereas I did not have anything to do. I am currently in the process of learning how to weave," says Syombua.

She offers advice to young people to desist from favoring white-collar jobs and instead try out whatever legal income-generating opportunity they stumble upon.

With the entry of young people such as Syombua, the chairlady, Mueni says that the art is likely to enjoy longevity and prosperity.

Among the challenges endured by these women include difficulties in market access, highly-priced raw materials, and exploitative middlemen.

Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349
华尔街20重优惠乐享不停 七彩娱乐现金充值 大发棋牌官网登录 豪利777娱乐操作足够简单 万博娱乐现金直营
九州20重优惠乐享不停 澳门正规赌博官方网址 ag游戏客户端 正规杏耀网址 大众棋牌代理加盟
AG现金开户 星际现金注册 新櫈娱乐网 环亚娱乐ag是什么网站 750彩票牛牛
万博娱乐代理 足球bifen 申博现金官网登入 申博138注册登入 申博现金百家乐