Tag Archives: African

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!

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