21 Jan 2021
The Narrative Online Shop is incredibly excited to launch a campaign in support of several Namibian community projects. Our aim is to bring Katutura artisan projects to the entire world!
The tourism company Gondwana Collection Namibia launched the online shop in response to numerous requests from international guests. Since its launch in November 2020, more and more product ranges, which are also available at selected Gondwana properties all over Namibia, have gradually been added to the online range The latest addition being handmade toys from the company’s long-standing income-generating partner projects.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has completely isolated Namibian artisans from their only source of income, namely international travelers,” says Astrid van Lill, the Curio Manager of Gondwana’s 20 retail shops. “We have managed to keep them afloat during 2020, hoping for better times. It is a matter truly dear to our hearts to assist our local suppliers to gain access to the international market and stand a better chance to earn a living.”
The Narrative carefully selected the bestselling products from four of Gondwana’s most loyal suppliers of handmade toys. Popular in Southern Africa, due to its heritage from the missionaries who brought it to Namibia, Shweshwe is a 100% cotton dyed cloth with intricate patterns. This material as well as waxcloth hailing from West-Africa, are the most used materials.
The Iyaloo Sewing Project handcrafts toys mostly for tiny tots, who are still exploring the development of their various senses and are encouraged to so by the variety of textiles used for the toys.
Little Bugs features the famous Shweshwe lions, rhinos and elephants as well as a variety of lifestyle products, such as placemats and cutlery set holders. They are big in recycling as well: all Gondwana properties send them beer caps and wine corks which they use to cover in Shweshwe material and produce coasters and trivets for the table. Their make-up bags in combined hessian/shweshwe and some beads/charms are a favourite amongst Gondwana’s guests.
Penduka Namibia’s trademark has been embroidery on cloth. They introduce themselves online with soft keyrings depicting village themes.
The Matukondjo Dolls Project has been producing Waldorf rag dolls since 2003 and their range of dolls focuses on the various developmental stages of the child. Their Big Mama remains their biggest export product!
January in Africa marks the beginning of the new schoolyear. Education is of high importance to parents and the Government of Namibia alike. Although education is free in Namibia, many parents struggle to send their children to school, and can hardly afford to pay for stationery, school uniforms or transport costs. Many women in Namibia work from home to supplement their income and to provide their children with a school education. They often use traditional sewing practices to produce toys, clothing, and lifestyle products.
Buy a Toy, bring Joy. With the purchase of one of The Narrative’s handcrafted toys, you are supporting a family in need.
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