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Safari animals - The People


The safari animal collection is made by Buguta disabled group. In the village called Buguta, their sewing workshop provides 5 women with a stable income.  They thrive under the kind and careful lead of mama Leah, who is in a wheelchair herself. All the safari animals they create are inspired by the wildlife that lives in the surrounding Buguta village.


The people

"My Name is Leah Mvumba. My group members call me Mama Leah, because I am a mother to them and I am older than almost all of them. I am the founder of Buguta disabled group. I am married to Mzee Kazungu and we are all living with disability. I have 3 grown up sons and a daughter, they are all married.

From 1988 I worked in the Bombolulu workshop in Mombasa. In the workshop I did tailoring making uniforms and bags. One day many years later, the District Commissioner passed by our home in Buguta. He told us he saw a call for groups making handicrafts in a Wildlife Works newsletter in the year 2011. He gave my husband the contact and he (my husband Kazungu) called Lore.  


I met Lore from HAdithi in 2011 April in the Library. She gave me an animal sample to make by then. Gladys was my neighbour making/repairing clothes as a business. I asked her to join me. She was not sure about what we were doing but I encouraged her to be patient. After getting the samples right we got small orders. We added Margaret to our team and our group started to expand in 2013. That’s when we decided to have our group in the central place Buguta Town centre.


“Namshukuru sana” in Swahili. Hadithi has helped me grow, sometimes I run out of words to explain what my heart feels. Hadithi has empowered us, today our members have solar lights, water tanks and I have a better wheelchair.

Currently the construction of our hall is ongoing. We are very thankful to Hadithi, wildlife works and all visitors and customers we have been having. When the hall is finished we will celebrate during our hall opening. In the future we would like to own a company like EPZ.


Our group started in 2009. Today we have 34 members all inclusive of beadwork, basket weaving and the stuffed animals group. Some of the ladies in the disabled group also know how to weave baskets which Hadithi purchases from them. Most of the weavers in the group are not disabled themselves but are actually mothers of handicapped children." Mama Leah Mvumba


The safari animals

These colourful handstitched safari animals are made out of pure cotton Khanga. Khanga is the Swahili name for a colourfully patterned fabric that is very popular in Kenya. Women across villages in Kenya typically sew their clothes out of Khanga, or else simply use the original rectangular khanga material to wrap around themselves as a skirt. The inside of the animals consists of polyester stuffing and their eyes are embroidered with cotton thread.


The group now sew different animals, such as giraffes, lions, rhino’s, aardvarks, tortoises - big and small. Wildlife that can be seen in real life in the vast landscape of savannah and bushland that surrounds Buguta village. 


Kindly note:

The animals have not been tested for suitability for young children, however, they do not contain any buttons or removable parts.

Some animals are the group’s own designs, whilst others are based upon a Funky Friends Factory pattern.

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