One of the first things we did upon arriving in Segou is visit a place called “ndomo” where various natural techniques are used to dye and stylize cotton cloth. Traditional and innovative natural techniques use mud, leaves, vegetables and minerals to provide color and pattern on cotton cloth. Although ndomo seeks to document and preserve these techniques, their primary mission is to use these activities to provide direction and socialization to disadvantaged young men. read more »
Posts Tagged ‘work’
In the last post from West Africa, I introduced you to Emmanuel Kamate of Mali. Emmanuel runs a convenience store in the capital city, Bamako. The store has everything you might need to get you through the day; eggs, sugar, cooking oil, powdered milk and bread (in bags on the counter).
An introduction in Mali is only complete after everyone has been given a good humored ribbing over their traditional background, revealed by their last name. The name Kamate comes from an ethnic group known as the Bobo who are farmers by tradition. Emmanuel was born in 1972 and went to school through the sixth grade. read more »
Back to Africa
Well, I’m still not done with Week 3! Actually, far from it. I have one more post from Segou, which was only our first stop that week. After Segou comes our tour of Dogon, a wedding in Sangha, our adventurous return navigating across the desert by GPS and an evening by the river in Mopti. Before we get to all that however, I want to illustrate everyday working life in Mali. This is the first of two seperate interviews with two men living and working in the capital city of Bamako, Mali.
Emmanuel Kamate is a business man. He runs a small store in the capital city of Bamako. Our equivalent would be called a convenience store, the French equivalent might be called a boutique. If you look closely, you can see that neither description probably fits. The way most Malians purchase certain supplies is quite different than what we are accustomed to. But that is only part of this story – the part that outlines our differences. The rest of the story is about Emmanuel, his family, and his friends. The story of a man providing for his family and for his children. That story has been told many times. But because the story is so common, I think it brings the power of perspective into our own lives. I think it speaks to why sometimes we do things we don’t want to do – because others are counting on us. For most of us, we wouldn’t have it any other way either. So stay tuned for more about Emmanuel and his family and his friends in the next post…