By the end of 20th century the Zanzibar Government had taken control of the fabric market on the island. As a result, there were only three colours available. But for the women of the Suleiman family that wasn’t enough. They tried to find a way to make the fabrics more unique. For generations the women of the family had made the delicate ornaments for Kofia and Kanzu (traditional Islamic hat and dress for men). The appliqué technique proved suitable to transfer those fine patterns onto bigger pieces of fabric. Saada Abdullah Suleiman and her mother taught themselves to create and realize various designs.
“Can I wrap this up to give it to my mom as a present?”, asked one of the 17 young creatives who came to visit Cultural Arts Centre last week, after he had finished making a beautiful little notebook. Supervised by the Cultural Arts Centre team, the SEA team and some of their teachers, the lively group of 5- to 10-year-olds from South East Coast International School Zanzibar made notebooks and Burudika handmade soaps throughout the whole morning. Both of the activities use re-cycled and up-cycled materials.