Jua kali!?

If I had to say one area of Manyatta I am most proud of, it is the sheer authenticity of it all.

No factories, no production lines, just groups of skilled beaders gathering together in back gardens, public spaces and even the slopes of the famous Ngong Hills.

With factories comes greater reliability and numbers of a product able to be created. It also sometimes brings pollution and environmental problems.

Our method could be called 'jua kali', a Swahili phrase well-known in Kenya. It means 'hot/fierce sun' and refers to those who work outdoors and do not necessarily have the money to afford to rent indoor spaces.

This does present its challenges - communication from one place to another is not always perfect and sometimes mistakes are made. Fortunately these are rare but it is the price we have to pay for our genuinely authentic business.

As ever, our huge thanks go to our beaders - we are often asked to pass on our compliments and gratitude from customers to them and we always appreciate this understanding for what we do (and the issues that occasionally arise!).

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Traditional Belts