Xenophobia is described by Wikipedia as "an unreasonable fear of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange". In South Africa, Xenophobic attacks have occured mainly in the townships by indigenous South Africans against other indigenous Africans.
Binga is located in a remote part of Northern Zimbabwe close to Zambia but it is not impossible to get there. It is certainly easier than going to China. Conditions are harsh and most people live below the poverty line, but at the same time, Binga is renown for its hand woven basketry which has found itself on display in top notch New York stores such as Anthropologie. In fact South Africa sets a bit of a double standard really, because the Binga Baskets I saw on display in Anthropologie were labelled and marketed as a "South African" product and not Zimbabwean. Not that it matters to me to be honest, I am more concerned about the bigger issues such has crafters being able to earn a living than the country of origin on the label.
The Marketing Manager of Binga Craft Centre, kindly provided the photos used in this blog. They are anxious for business and not hand outs. They don't want to relocate to South Africa to find markets for their products but unfortunately that is what is happening today. I hope this article will motivate us to push for locally produced products regardless of where we live, especially if the raw materials for those products are locally available.
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