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Mombasa | City Gallery
IN PICTURES: Mombasa's Blue Room
Mombasa’s Blue Room whips up recipes to build a lasting legacy
This happened on the 18th Feb 1945. Seven lions including four cubs wondered into
Mombasa's Makupa area crossing the narrow channel from Changamwe at low tide. They caused panic and were shot by Afzal Khan (holding a 9.3 mm rifle).Also holding a gun is his younger brother Naimullah Khan. Both have passed away. Narrated by Mohamed Ismail
Afzal, yet another Khan from Punjab, whose father was a station master, went one better. He acquired the name of Simba Tatu. In 1945, a pride of three lions ambled across the causeway one early morning and startled the inhabitants in the Makupa area of Mombasa. Afzal Khan shot all three, using only two bullets - one bullet somehow killing two of the big cats. Manmohan Singh, my classmate at Allidina Visram school in Mombasa, takes up the story: "When the news reached the railway Landis, 1 along with other boys ran to the scene still wearing only my cachera (traditional Sikh shorts). There on the ground were the three beasts. Women in the neighbourhood started plucking their whiskers and hair to make amulets and bracelets, and people collected the churbi ("fat) in jars and any other pot they could find, as lion fat is regarded as the ultimate healer of all joint and muscle problems. The pelts went to the brave hunter’’ Satya V Sood
Blog on Kenya….
Other interesting links:
This article primarily describes the pioneering hey-day of building sealed highways in East Africa;
HABARI 2010 Newsletter of the Friends of East Africa
East Africa Railaways
Vintage East Africa photos
History of Kitenge and Kanga
Popularity grew around the world in the 1900s.Over the years, there has been a lot speculation as to where Wax Print came from, especially the Dutch ‘connection’ so we felt that we should shed a little light on this iconic fabric that heavily influences the millecollines brand identity.
In the mid 1800s the Dutch were traveling to the Dutch Indies via the gold and spice trade route that went along the West African Coast. At the time, the tradesmen would try to trade Indonesian Batik (Javanese fabric) but it proved to be too expensive and also complicated to make. Around this time, the Dutch were fighting against the indigenous peoples in Java, Indonesia and were notorious for picking up Africans to fight for them. During battle, their clothing would get worn out and tattered so they were replaced by Javanese long lasting wax printed clothing.
One year, on their way back from Indonesia they dropped anchor at one of their bases in modern day Ghana. The Ghanians spotted their fellow country men in these colorful garments.
Kitenge is an East African cotton fabric printed in various colours and distinctive patterns. It has its origin from Kiswahili kitengele. Kitenge is sometimes worn as sarong by women, or as a baby sling. Some of the African countries where kitenge is worn are Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, and Sudan. It is an informal and inexpensive fabric with a distinctive border and political slogans.
In Swahili the plural form is ‘vitenge’ while in Tonga it is ‘zitenge’. It forms an important part of the East African culture. Kitenge fabric has a long history and gives the Eastern African region an identity. Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, Kim Kardashian and Solange are some of the celebrities that have been spotted on the red carpet wearing Kitenge designs.
“An image of ‘African fabric’ isn’t necessarily authentically [and wholly] African” – Yinka Shonibare. African print, popularly known as Ankara, has gained popularity in the global fashion scene since 2010. The material is primarily associated with Africa mainly because of the tribal-like patterns and motifs. Since it’s ascension in global fashion, much talk has focused on whether or not African fabric is authentically African given the fact that the fabric was in fact originally made in Europe.
Before analysing these mechanisms I will introduce the ‘Kanga’ and the ‘Kitenge’. The Kanga is a two piece, colourful, factory printed cloth often with some Swahili proverbial wisdom printed on them. It was originally imported into Tanzania from Europe. Later on, India started importing them and since 1975 they are produced in several factories in Kenya and Tanzania. The Kanga is associated with Arab oriented cultural practice coming from the East African Swahili coast. However it’s use has been spread so thoroughly throughout the country that in 1993, in an event sponsored by the Tanzanian Media Women’s association, the Kanga was voted as national dress.