An introduction to Manduwe.com
Greetings! / "Mulibwanji" - Chichewa-Malawi
My name is Jessica Barros, currently a Law Student in Midrand, South Africa as well as a budding social media consultant. I recently got a gig with a newly established e-commerce platform called Manduwe.com.
After being courted for a few weeks, I decided to take on the task of writing their blog, to bring you Manduwe.com on a personal level as well as share the stories behind the artists and enlighten you a little bit more about our “dark continent”. I am originally from Malawi so it really caught my attention as to Manduwe.com's vision to support the craft industry Africa.
Malawi is a small but developing country, however, I was really surprised to see some pieces from back home on Manduwe.com which made me proud of my heritage, my culture so to speak, and BOOOM! I felt an immediate connection.
Anyway, I set about some research of my own on the workings of this platform and got the opportunity to sit with one of the co-founders; Christopher. From what I understand, after years of exposure to the global village, the founders asked themselves one question; ‘in the midst of all the success of the internet, social media and global trade, has Africa been fully exposed?’ In my words "NO!".
When I was a bit younger, I had the opportunity to reside in the United Kingdom and most of my friends' views of Africa seemed to be based on the negative aspects of the motherland. What made it worse was that these views were not based on personal experience of Africa, but a stereotype that they grew up hearing, all the inaccurate stories that flood social sites on the net as well as the lack of exposure to the people of Africa.
Yes, Africa being a continent with a bloody history and a place where modernisation has not yet fully taken root, people will have different assumptions, however, Africa has its own unique way of life with some of the warmest, friendliest people you will ever meet in the world, despite our history, we do not let the past define our NOW!
The warmth of the African people is evident in the representation of their craft. A brief look into African communities shows that there is immense natural talent and a passion for craft.
Manduwe.com believes in the fundamentals of the new social age or era; such as fair trade and social poverty alleviation. Using existing resources to aid fellow Africans who are less fortunate to improve their livelihood, through sales of their own wares globally.
So there you have it, a new exciting and thrilling chapter of my life that goes without saying. I’m more than ecstatic to begin and share this journey with all arts and craft lovers and in my own little way, I feel like I am part of something meaningful.
Quote of the day:“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (African Proverb)
Until our next chat, stay strong and beautiful, just like AFRICA…