Return from shopping in South Africa

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Well, here I am back in the UK, having had a fabulous time in Cape Town and the surrounding area.

Bathed in sunshine, I went out and about, looking for new products at the various markets, for Bazaar Africa. One of the biggest disappointments, is that really nothing much has changed since I was last there, consequently there was nothing significantly ‘new’. What I did notice, was how much of the craft is now from other African countries, primarily Kenya and Zimbabwe, and why would I be buying that in South Africa? The sales people were also from these other countries, and I enjoyed some banter in Swahili with some, and in French with those from places such as Cameroon and Togo. All of this done in a typically fun and friendly manner, with the huge smiles of these lovely people.

The other major change, as far as I was concerned, was that there was far less craft available on street corners, or impromptu pop up stalls, and it would appear that this is now frowned upon by the authorities, and craftspeople are being moved to designated markets. In some ways this is great, as all the craftspeople are gathered together, but it also means that the prices have considerably increased, as the cost of a pitch at these markets has obviously had to be factored into the prices. Sadly, the local craftsmen and craftswomen often looked a little bewildered and overwhelmed at their surroundings, as they would be amongst all sorts of other more sophisticated products and producers, such as the big wine merchants, clothing outlets and so forth. Their small tables of beaded items could, at times, look a little bit sad, set against backdrops of wealth and general affluence. You can see pictures of some of the many markets I visited on the Facebook page.

Still, the quality of the workmanship continues to amaze me, and I have come back with some beautiful new beaded items, animals and keyrings for the most part. I think you will enjoy the short video also on the Facebook page, showing some of these being made. You can but admire the men and ladies making them, as you will see.  There were some lovely fabric animals, made in traditional fabric, but sadly, as yet, these do not pass the British standards of safety, as the stuffing in not of the quality we are now used to.  Hopefully this will change soon, and Bazaar Africa will be able to market these cute toys, as well.

Also, please do watch the video on the making of one of my new products, soon to be put on the site -kliketyklikbox. These will be there once I have done all the washing that accumulates at the end of a trip, and I also have to give some extra time to my dog, who, after the rapturous greeting he gave me, has been giving me black looks if I don’t walk/stroke/love/pat him. There is always a price to pay for going away, isn’t there? However, as I adore him, I don’t mind doing this, as all dog owners will understand! Anyway, back to the boxes.

These are amazing and a great example of recycling. They are all made from plastic bottles, though you would never know it, they are so clever as well as pretty. More on these once I have got them on the site, but meanwhile do watch the again short video of a lovely lot of ladies making these – in a garage! That is all for now, but please keep looking as I update the site with the new purchases.

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