Cape Town City girl moves to the simple life in Beira, Mozambique!
It has now been 3 years. We moved a month after our wedding following my husband’s dream of working beyond the SA border.
We currently live in an old Portuguese styled house, where I have cultivated a herb garden and adopted a expat lifestyle.
When driving through the streets of Beira, Mozambique, I couldn’t fail to notice the bold brightly patterned fabrics worn by many of the local women. They are a feast for the eye. And very soon, they became the inspiration for my label, K8Afrika.
The fabric is called Capulana (sometimes spelt with a K… Kapulana), and it is primarily worn as a sarong around the waist. I’ve been used to wearing a sarong as a beach cover-up but here in Mozambique, a Capulana is worn as a skirt and is an important garment in a woman’s wardrobe. The Capulana is worn throughout the day with much pride.
Some of the women have more formal dresses made from Capulana fabric, and I’ve also seen it used as a baby carrier and for wrapping and transporting heavy loads. Local seamstresses, but more often male tailors, create beautiful dresses from this fabric. Capulanas come in 2 metres by 1 metre pieces. The shop keepers in Beira sell it ready cut or sometimes you can buy a 10-meter roll.
Capulanas are often considered as an expensive gift and the women tend to measure their status by the number of Capulanas they own!
K8Afrika is about selling unique quality goods to customers around the globe. The range currently includes; Gorongosa Gowns, Amanha Kimonos, Palmeria Totes, Macuti Cosmetic Bags, Sofala Aprons and soon to launch homeware. Everything is 100% cotton and made in the colourful fabrics of Mozambique. By selling these products we are further enabling the women at Equip Mozambique sewing school.
When we launched I was working with a few local tailors but their setup wasn’t quite what I was looking for. K8Afrika was looking for something more… then I was introduced to Equip Mozambique and their Restoring Hope Sewing School. This school empowers widowed women by teaching them how to sew and produce patterns. For more information follow the link to …… This was the beginning of a successful collaboration.
K8Afrika is broadening it’s horizons everyday and we are always looking for new adventures. Please do contact us. We currently sell in South Africa, Mozambique and are looking at looking to sell in Europe.
K8Afrika’s vision is to grow the brand so that we have a small sustainable business that provides work for the sewing women at Equip Mozambique. At K8Afrika we believe by selling these products we can make a difference to families in Beira.
KATE HALLIFORD – WATSON