I have enjoyed being immersed in the beautiful, bold, bright world of shitenges.
Shitenges or kitenges are fabrics similar to sarongs worn mostly by women. Shitenges are commonly designed into garments such as dresses and tops, or even worn alone as head wraps. Shitenges are sold by the meter and can cost as little as N$10 (a little less than a US dollar) per meter, although more popular or “waxy” prints can cost N$70+ (~$5.40 US) per meter. Most of these prints are made in other African countries, so prices can be a tad higher to account for importing.
Many local tailors can put a needle to work without the use of patterns. All of the outfits below were made from a simple WhatsApp picture I sent to the tailor (excluding the dashiki print top.)
Tailors have styled me for weddings, everyday wear and Peace Corps events. The most expensive custom-made outfit cost me about N$450 (~$35 USD) and the least expensive was about N$80 (~$6 USD). Also, check out my Wambo earrings made by the ladies at Work of Our Hands, a non-profit based in Okahandja which focuses on empowering women through employment opportunities. Check out their IG page and better yet, support them.
I loved falling in love with Namibia and the styles of this country which I will miss when I move back to the States.
The pink striped print is called “odelela”. It’s traditional Wambo print and is worn mostly at celebrations…everything else is just me embracing the beauty of this country.