No longer that African – Daily Monitor


Walking into one of the shops selling African fabric downtown, I am amazed at how much people are ‘swallowing up’ these fabrics; the buzz is undeniable. With various names being coined by the buyers, the amazement continues, “how do they get these names? And how is it that the sellers seem to know what each buyer is saying?”

Kitenge, African fabric, African print, chitenge, sarong, zambia, capulana, nguvu, vemba, kanga, wax, telel; the names are quite many, and so are their variations. They have got palettes so bright and clashing, they threaten to sear the eye, and patterns are so loud, they make Hawaiian prints look demure.

Kitenge flourishes in East Africa and parts of Southern Africa. They are often worn by women and wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head…

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