I think you may have read how "matumba" are clothes and shoes that make their way to Kenya from the States and Europe - after they have been rejected by various charity shops there. We do most of our shopping for clothes and shoes at those open-air markets. (This tag came from something Heather bought here.)

Critics have complained that such cast-offs killed off the formerly thriving Kenyan textiles industry. But it's not that simple. Matumba markets provide employment for a lot of people! I would argue that it is a lot better to work as a salesperson at a stall there, compared to running a sewing machine in a factory. There's also a lot more incentive for being a good business person. If you display your goods in an attractive way or even shout out your low prices (as one salesman did), you might earn more!

I guess one thing that bothers me about this system is the reflection on the west - who discard perfectly good clothes, just because the style is not the absolute latest.

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By the way, I will be posting a few pictures from the family vacation - in about a month, after I have access to Photoshop again. Thanks for your patience.


3rdfloor20 said…
Hi Paul,

Sorry I've got to get in touch with you this way, but I've lost your email address with the crash. Could you drop me a line? Thanks,


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