Washington D.C. (MaraviPost): It was late, the Ambassador had been and left after going around the tables and greeting everybody: thank God he didn’t speak, so no need to scrounge around for a copy of his statement.
But after driving in the rental car (courtesy of Francis and Jayne Kajumo), two GPSs blasting as I charted the DC, Virginia and Maryland metropolis highways, picking up friends, we finally made it to the function hall. Saturday night, 1st July, 2017. MWA Malawi 53rd Independence celebrations dance: $20 please!
Without an Ambassador to ply an interview from, I scouted the area and immediately was rewarded: a mini fair was set-up on the premises, wherein four entrepreneurs had erected their stalls, displaying a variety of ware, commodities and project’s, that made my heart swell with pride.
My Malawi people have come of age, I beamed with pride.
NANZE raising funds from T-shirts for primary school block, teachers’ houses
Yunus Badat, was first to sweep my heart away on this celebratory night. He is the Director of Operations (USA), for NANZE, a 501 c nonprofit in which he helps market t-shirts made by his son.
NANZE whose vision is a world where today’s African child is tomorrow’s leader, the company, out of Nebraska, it has three steps (education, water and sanitation, and livelihoods) in which it aims to achieve its objectives. In the area of education, NANZE has raised funds with which it has built a school block in rural Malawi.
An enthusiastic Yunus Badat said NANZEs funds are being stockpiled to build teachers’ houses.
When traveling to D.C., I was early for my bus, so I window-shopped. In one shop, my “wanna buy” mode was engaged when I show beautiful lady’s handbags made from a mosaic of African prints. But as I was traveling, I took mental note of the street – I shall return, I told no one I’m particularly in the shop.
After being so highly impressed with Yunus and the NANZE project, I was taken up on a higher notch to meet Patricia Msaka Kankodo, designer of PAKK Designs.
Her table was filled with handbags and inner bags made of popular African material as the ones I saw in New York — the difference being, these were made by my fellow Malawian. And I was told, you could choose any material you liked and she would make the bag.
Patricia’s table also had fans, also made of African cloth. She trades her creations under the Classy Peacock labels.
Joslyn’s JC Sapulene Creates wonder candles
“Auntie, these candles are individually handcrafted and packaged with thoughts of you,” The Artistic/Managing Director of JC Sapulene said to me as I approached her table. There on the table was a variety of candles made in a variety of scents: vanilla, cinnamon, apple blossom, sweet pea and more. To create excitement, Jos asks patrons to try their luck by participating in “out giveaway, showing your candles and decor” on her Instagram #jcsapulenecteates. It has to be said, Jos is cool and she has the swagger. She is also creating artwork with the African and Malawi flag.
indigenous Market lures my Ngoni heart
The next table I visited was filled with eye-popping jewelry. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.
A Ngoni at heart, I was captivated by the bejeweled khosa both my grandmas used to make and wore with pride. There were necklaces and head-jewels befitting this Ngoni Princess.
This is the Indigenus Group whose indegenumarket.com is going live soon.
I am proud to be Malawian and grateful for the rise of Malawi’s creative genius in the Diaspora.
Long live genuine democracy and our creative flair!
Reporting By Janet Karim, from Washington D.C.