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Fineweave Baskets - The People

Story of Gladys Malemba

Get close to the magic of basket weaving with Gladys Malemba in this short video, shot at her homestead in the Taita hills. She shows some of the secrets of twining, natural dyeing and basketweaving while she tells her story. Gladys is one of the 1200 basketweavers we work with, weaving their baskets by hand, weaving their stories from the heart...

A massive, great , huge Thank you to @bigstylemediahouse for capturing the story of Gladys Malemba so very beautifully!

A few stories of fineweave basket weavers

So many weavers with so many faces and so many stories behind the handicrafts, we can only fail to tell them all. We can only show you by example, that every basket has a unique and a real personal story...

"My name is Silvia Mdawida. Emmarline (chairlady of Muungama group) is my grand daughter. I am a widow I live with a grand daughter who goes to school. I am 94 years old. My hands are weak but I still get strength to weave. I would advice young women to cook food without too much fat so that they can live longer." Silvia, Mwatate.

"I started weaving at the teenage age. My mother and grandmother used to weave baskets so I learnt the technique from them. My parents never took me to school but through hard work and determination to give my children the best education, I have managed to see them through up to secondary level. I am the sole bread winner in my family. I always ensure my baskets are done neatly and within the timeline." Christina Mwalemba, Mwatate.

"I'm Jane Mwangwai. I am 60 years old. I am a member of Neema women group since 2013. I like weaving XS baskets. I can weave an XS basket in four days. I have a grand child and live with my daughter-in-law. The money I earn I use for food, clothing and donations in the church." Jane, Mwatate.

"My name is Karen I am a mother of four. My first and second borns are married and the other two aged 14 and 11 years stay with me. Married and living with my husband though currently he happens to be without any formal employment. Just recently I developed a complication that resulted in aching and swelling. I went to seek medical attention, but nothing was diagnosed. Im given some pain relieving medication. The swelling dissappeared. I am happy Mercy has been taking time to call me and know my progress. I feel loved because the ladies of hadithi are concerned about me." Karen, Mwatate.