How African is this really?

Yesterday a couple from Washington DC was keen on buying an owl beanie for one of their grandchildren.

owl hat

The woman asked if it had been made in Africa. Yes, ma’am, I replied, It was made by me. I indicated to the half-finished owl beanie I was making on the table next to me, as proof that I do indeed do all the making myself. But you’re not African, she said, I mean, how African is this really? [Take a deep breath, Jill.]
Well, I said, I’ve lived in South Africa for forty-four years, I own property here, I pay rates and taxes, I love biltong and bunny chow, I only use locally-manufactured cotton and it’s also hand-dyed in Cape Town by South Africans, and I can say “I made it myself” in Venda, Xhosa, Sotho, Ndebele, Afrikaans, Shona and Zulu. That African enough for you, lady? Okay, I didn’t actually voice the last question, but I think she heard it anyway, kubwa na ya wazi / hard en duidelik!

Back soon x


26 thoughts on “How African is this really?

  1. Gail

    Jill, you are a multi-lingual marvel. Wish we could hear the stories your customer will tell her family about the Africans in Cape Town and especially about the one who made the

  2. NikkiM

    Ja! That is a problem! Why do people think you not African because you not black the thing is I’m as African as can be! Its like saying you not American because you not a Red Indian!

  3. Kathryn Rubidoux

    People are rather silly. I still remember some gal squealing over a dreamcatcher made by a “real Lakota Indian”. It made me laugh, as if being Indian (Lakota here myself) gives one magical properties. On the other hand, an owlie hat isn’t necessarily a traditional African hat, but made in Africa, from African materials… it most assuredly is. I love your owlie hats!

  4. tgonzales

    Hi Jill! It makes my heart hurt to know that person from Washington DC was so ignorant and rude to you. I’m glad you set her straight and I’m glad she purchased the adorable owl hat. Love and Hugs, Tamara

  5. yarnchick40

    You were too kind to her. What a pig she was! Kind of makes me embarrassed to be from the USA. Actually, hell, I am ALWAYS embarrassed to be from the USA. The ‘land of plenty of idiots’ Swear to God I was born on the wrong continent. And possibly the wrong decade. Can I get a do-over cause I’m sure I’d LOVE to be African or British or Chinese or ANYTHING but a stupid American. Everybody else is much kinder and smarter and tolerant, it’s no wonder we are laughed at in general. A bunch of overgrown self-centered uneducated children over here on this continent. Can ya tell that her comments really chapped my ass? End of rant. Sorry to go on like that. You should have tripled the price just for her ;)

  6. katechiconi

    Ah yes, I know that mindset. As an Australian, the assumption is that we all have kangaroos in the back yard, spend every meal around the barbie and wear hats with corks bobbing around the brim… I love your little owlie beanie – mooi en practig!


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