Apendae Hajali Lawama

20 09 2009


This pretty khanga hangs over my bed…

A khanga is a colorful garment worn by women and occasionally by men throughout Eastern Africa.  The piece of printed cotton consists of a border, an overall print and a Swahili message or riddle known as a “jina”.  Each jina is unique to the design of the khanga…

African Languages tells me that my pretty khanga’s jina means “Love is a need to be blamed”.  Say what?!  Someone please explain this to me…

Every time I glance up at the cloth that hangs over my bed, I’m reminded of the balls that the kids at the CDC used to play with.  Plastic bags and khanga rags are all they needed to make a soccer ball… how creative… and heartwarming.

plastic bag football

There is an abundance of khangas throughout Kenya, which behooves me to use it in some form or the other in the design/construction of my school… I’m still brainstorming… but if you can think of an innovative use, by all means, share your ideas.




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