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CRAFTS AND TALENT AT THE MAASAI MARKET, NAIROBI

The renowned Maasai market is an open-air retail center with a large variety of products ranging from curios, paintings, drawings, Ankara clothes and fabrics, jewellery and wood-carvings, many hand-made by local artisans talent, enabling them to thrive and spurring economic growth.

The Maasai market hosts the official Maasai Market Handicraft Welfare Association, which was started in 2011 as an umbrella organization to several MSE groups. The association has over 400 MSE traders who deal in hand crafted merchandise. Here are some of the MSEs and their products;

WOVEN ACCESSORIES

Mr. Jackson Kiplagat Ndunda, the group coordinator for the Market Handicraft Welfare Association started his business of leather beaded ornaments in 2014.

He also a variety of beaded ornaments, baskets and mats whose prices range from Ksh 1800 to Ksh 50,000. Apart from selling these wares at Maasai market on Tuesdays, he also has a shop at Woodville groove in Westlands.

BEADED MAASAI ORNAMENTS

Hellen Nanga Ntanaiya is the leader of Ushiriki women group, an association of 30 women who deal in bead Maasai ornaments from Ruai. They sell the ornaments at the village market, Capital Centre, the Junction mall and Maasai market on Tuesdays. The ornaments prices range from Ksh 250 for a single item to Ksh 25, 000 for a complete set.

AUTHENTIC LEATHER PRODUCTS

Esther Wanjiru sells furniture made from authentic leather sourced the local from camel hide. She has four employees who help to process the hide, color it and finally make different shapes for various pieces of furniture. Esther does the engraving on the furniture herself.

ARTWORK

Marclus Munyi is another member Maasai Market Handicraft Welfare Association who does oil on canvas painting and batik works. An art that started as a hobby is now a business that not only supports his family, but also the households of youth for whom he displays their art. He sells his work at Maasai market, Capital Centre, Village market and high court. He also makes customized paintings.

UP-CYCLING WASTE INTO JEWELLERY

Eric Kimathi Mungania is an MSE based at Maasai Market Michuki Park who makes jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, key holders using cow bones, cow horn, camel bone, recycled beads, glass, wood and brass. Eric’s products range from Kshs. 150 to Kshs. 25,000.  His clients are from both local and international markets. Eric has employed four casuals who help him in his workshop at the City Market Nairobi. If you would like to inquire or buy the products, kindly contact Eric on 0723815549.

RECYCLING CALABASH INTO GLAMOUR

Mwoka Ndeke started his business of making house and events décor from calabashes in 2002 after practicing it for very many years where he had been employed. He sources the calabashes from Kitui and Machakos. Prices for the décor items range from Kshs. 100 – Kshs 2000. He has a workshop in Huruma area Nairobi where he has employed 7 casuals from the vulnerable communities in the area. He gets his clients locally, mostly through referrals. If you would like to inquire or buy the products, kindly contact him 0727207621/ 0704898846.

TRADITIONAL ATTIRE

Samson Karanja started his business of making and selling traditional event attires in 2006. He sources the material from shops in Nairobi. The apparel include Kikuyu Traditional attires, Maasai traditional attires, shirts, hats made from sheep skin and to complete the outfit he sells traditional knives. Prices for the items range from Kshs. 1500 – Kshs. 15000. He gets most of his clients locally through referrals. Samson has a workshop in Thika town where he has employed 2 casuals. If you would like to inquire or buy the products, kindly contact him on 0721990037.

RAFFIA FIBRE FOR THE TEXTILE AND WEAVING VALUE CHAINS

The raffia fiber is soft, pliable, strong, durable, easy to dye and making it an excellent material for weaving. Knowing its full benefits, Alice Wanjiku an MSE based at Maasai Market Michuki Park uses the grass to make Kikoi Bags from the Kikoi fabric, Straw-fans from Kitenge fabric and raffia grass. The product prices range from Ksh. 500 – Kshs. 3000. She has a workshop in Kayole area in Nairobi where she has employed 5 casuals. She has clientele in the local and international markets. Alice also sells her products at Capital Centre market, Junction mall, Village Market, and Supreme Court on specific market days. If you would like to inquire or buy the products, kindly contact her on 0721990037.