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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rwanda Baskets at Macy's

Last week I received an invitation to meet Janet Nkubana, founder of the Rwanda Path to Peace Basket project at an event to be held at Macy's Herald Square in Manhattan. Since I was in the area that evening, I decided to go and see these baskets that I have heard so much about.

Upon arrival, on the 6th floor, where the event was taking place, there were numerous people all waiting in anticipation for the event to begin. The baskets were simply gorgeous and professionally laid out on one side of the room, and there were waiters dressed in black with trays of complimentary champagne and Godiva chocolates!!I am always amazed at the range of skill, talent and creativity in Africa. Zimbabwe is famous for its Binga baskets, Swaziland for its magnificent Swazi baskets, South Africa for its colorful telephone wire baskets, and now Rwanda with its impeccable and colorful baskets. I felt really proud to be an African woman standing amidst such wonderful work, and I felt justified in what I always tell people, that Africa is a best kept secret for crafts which is slowly coming out.

A representative from the Rwandan embassy said a few words, followed by Janet herself and then finally the CEO of Macy's Terry Lundgren. Janet's speech was by far the most emotional and you could see how moved and overwhelmed she was by all the love and support around her. I'm so happy for Rwanda, the country really deserves this after years of war and loss. Maybe one day when Tashanda has expanded to the rest of Sub Saharan Africa (as is our intention), the people of Rwanda will be our Partners too.

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