The Government through Ushanga Kenya Initiative has launched a digital platform to facilitate women from seven pastoralists’ communities sell their beadwork products with ease.
Speaking during the launch at Trans Mara West, Narok County, the Sports, heritage and Culture Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed said digitalizing the marketing and selling of beadwork will be more profitable to the women whose livelihood depends on beads.
“The digital platform will expose your beautiful work globally and your intellectual capacity will be respected in the whole world. Every group should have their own account as they will be getting money in foreign currency,” said the CS.
Ms. Amina observed that people from different nations will be ordering for the products through phone, encouraging every woman doing bead work to embrace the new system.
The seven counties include: Narok, Kajiado, West Pokot, Turkana, Laikipia, Samburu and Baringo. Each of the counties have their own unique style of doing the beads.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu lauded the pastoralists’ women for the beautiful work they were doing and called on the government to elevate Ushanga Initiative to be a parastatal to benefit the women more.
“To be sincere I have moved around the world but I have not seen beautiful works like what I have seen today. This is a commendable job that deserves a good reward,” said Ngilu.
The Ushanga Initiative Chairperson Hellen Nkaissery thanked the government for recognizing and supporting beadwork that has made the pastoralists women earn an income
“We as pastoralists’ women, the women who are low in the radar, now they are being lifted up through the support of our government, through the programme of Ushanga Kenya Initiative, and we are being put in a platform where other parts of the country have also been supported,” said Ms. Nkaissery.
The women praised the initiative for building their capacity and helping them market their products to parts of the world.
Beadwork in the craft of attaching beads to one another by stringing them onto a thread or thin wire or sewing them to cloth. They range from the materials, shape and size used to produce them.
The beautiful accessories are not only used to make money but have a cultural meaning that proves that one is well versed with the culture.
Most of the items made for sale include; earrings, bracelets, breast plates, rings and belts. The beads are also used to decorate clothes, swords, shoes among others.
By Ann Salaton