The ladies of Kideloni womens group live in Kajire and weave mkeka leaves into baskets. Kajire is a relatively new settlement, only 40 years old, and lies at the base of Sagalla hill near Voi town. Most inhabitants are Duruma, which is one of the smaller sub-tribes of the Mijikenda who live in Kenya’s coast province.
People in Kajire have limited access to water, and, like most Mijikenda, rely on subsistence farming. Unfortunately there is insufficient rainfall in Kajire, so crops often fail.
In October 2012 the ladies of Kideloni started weaving baskets together as a women’s group, to generate an income to improve their lives and to earn money to send their children and/or grandchildren to school. Currently sixteen ladies weave baskets from mkeka. Weaving this type of baskets goes a long way back in their history and is a tradition of the Mijikenda tribe.
This ideal shopping or laundry basket is woven from Mkeka, a type of indigenous palm that grows on Sagalla hill.
The Leather shopper is finished with soft leather handles. These baskets are taken to Voi, the nearest town, to be finished by a talented leather craftsman called Ezra.