Mifuko 15 years: Under the mango tree

Mifuko 15 years: Under the mango tree

This is the story of how the idea for Mifuko came about. It all started in Kenya, where Kiondo basket weaving is a traditional craft.
Mifuko’s baskets are versatile Reading Mifuko 15 years: Under the mango tree 1 minute Next Weaving a friendship

The Mifuko story began in 2009, and this year we are celebrating our 15th anniversary. For 15 years we have been promoting Fair Trade, honouring traditional craft techniques, and empowering women for a brighter future. 

Join us in our anniversary celebration throughout the year as we share memories and stories from over the years. We are delighted to have you as part of our story!

Under the mango tree

In 2009, Minna and her family were living in Kenya and she found the first Kiondo basket at the Masai market in Nairobi. Minna was interested in the skilful weaving of the basket and got the phone number of the basket maker, Mama Kasee. Mama Kasee didn't speak English, but luckily Minna’s Kenyan friend Ruth acted as interpreter. 

The next time Mari visited Minna in Kenya, all three travelled together to meet Mama Kasee. At first, they sat next to the wrong woman, who was also weaving a Kiondo basket, and mistook her for Mama Kasee.

Fortunately, the situation was resolved, and soon the real Mama Kasee was walking towards them on the red dirt road in her bright purple outfit.

As Mama Kasee stepped into Minna and Mari's car, Bob Marley's "One Love" played. 

Soon after, Minna and Mari were sitting under a large mango tree in wicker chairs with Mama Kasee and her group. A warm breeze blew in from the savannah as they designed Mifuko's first basket design and placed the first order. 

Minna and Mari felt like they were at the beginning of something new. 

Partners then and now

Today, Mama Kasee is still weaving baskets for Mifuko with her group and Ruth is the Production Manager at Mifuko's Kenyan subsidiary, Punonta Ltd. 

(Photo by Sanna Saastamoinen-Barrois)