What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Africa?
Over the years, I’ve watched how Africa is portrayed to the world. It’s always on either of two extremes. Painted as a country (not even a continent) of constant hunger, civil war and corruption or a paradise where you can leave all of your worries behind to be soothed by traditional dancers, beautiful scenery and “authentic” African food. This has changed over the years, but not by much. It has instead become simple and sensational theories that get more airtime.
Africa is, however, a complex and diverse environment filled with generous, creative and innovative minds. The countries here have their challenges, as do all countries. Nevertheless, let’s all push those tired and old narratives aside and instead focus excitement, drive and vision reflected here. That is what I envision doing with Shuhuda; Tell Our Stories.
Shuhuda is a Swahili word meaning witness. It’s going to be an interview series about African makers, with the first weeks centering on Kenyan crafters. However, it will be written as a narrative instead of a question and answer. So in essence I want you to witness these stories. Not just read them and forget them a few hours later! I want you to remember and for it to have an impact on your life, enough to make a change, squash biases you might have had and even find encouragement.
I’ve been on Instagram for about 2 years, blogging for 1 year and it’s still a struggle finding black crocheters/knitters and more so African ones. I have managed to come across some really talented makers during this time and I would love to share their stories with you. Doing this feature here as opposed to my Instagram, where I had entertained the idea of doing it, gives it more permanence, and in this way I could also direct people to their shops/sites.
My mission is to ensure that African crafters get a platform to tell their stories how they want them to be heard. These stories will be told in the first-person narrative, set in the context of global & local events.
This week was just an introduction of what Shuhuda will be all about. Please subscribe to newsletter below to get notified when the first maker goes live.
How you can Support.
If this is something you’re also passionate about or feel/know other people who would enjoy it, consider sharing it far and wide! You can also take part in changing the narrative.
Face Behind Shuhuda.
I’m Morine, a Kenyan-based crocheter & pattern designer. I occasionally dabble in sewing and knitting.
I’m passionate about all things crafty and love meeting/ interacting with other people passionate about handmade as well. I’m most active on Instagram but I’m also active on all of the sites listed below. Feel free to get in touch or just say hi in any of the platforms. Can’t wait to grow this lovely community further.