Kazi Goods, An All Across Africa brand, sources the beautiful handwoven baskets that we sell. The story of their business is shaped by the passion and creativity of artisans who support their families and communities with their incredible skilled craftswomanship. And the story of each artisan's life is shaped in large part by culture, family, geography, and self-determination. In today's post we share stories and photos, provided by Kazi.
Mukakibibi started weaving at 20 where weaving was a cultural practice. Before beginning to weave for All Across Africa cooperatives over five years ago, she sold livestock to pay for school and insurance. With her weaving cooperative earnings, she provides for her family, and despite being a single mother, has earned enough to buy land and build her own home.
She says about her role in the women's cooperative: “I rose and became a leader because people trusted me and I was always responsible. I inspire my community as a successful single mother and hope to send my daughter to a university when she finishes secondary school. The coops help the women navigate daily life. Before it, some women couldn’t even manage clothes or insurance but now they teach them how to buy and manage insurance as well as dress themselves. There’s a big difference in the women from before and after.”
Eulerie says she weaves to create a stable life for her children and a secure future for herself. “My family could not afford to continue paying school fees when I was young, so I was chosen to watch after our cattle.” Life dealt her more hardship at nineteen when both parents passed away within a few months of each other. At the time, she was an unwed mother looking for direction when her brother suggested she join a weaving cooperative to make a better life for herself.
Eulerie notes: “Despite having to stop my education after grade four, weaving has given me opportunities for leadership and personal growth. Working in a cross-cultural company where you meet different kinds of people is very interesting. One of my favorite events is an annual celebration held at the weaving center where weavers, staff members, and company executives come together to eat, socialize, and dance. There, we sit with each other, talk about our lives, and celebrate the meaning of our work together.”
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