Artisans in Africa
Get to know our artisans
Mifuko products are made by 1,300 women artisans in Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. Here you can read some of their stories.
Felister Nzyoka Kyanguyu
Felister is not only a talented basket weaver, she is also a tailor, a singer in her local church choir and a generous mother. She is admired for her kindness, big heart and hard-working spirit. During her free time, she enjoys making clothes
for her children. She looks up to a tailor in her village named Rhoda Mathuku, who is known for her tailoring skills. Her favorite colors are green and yellow. Her favorite meal is Githeri, which is a mixture of fried beans and maize. She aims to become a strong businesswoman in the future and wants to start a hardware business soon with the income she is earning from Mifuko.
Teresia Nzomo Wambua
Teresia is known for her cheerfulness and singing and dancing skills. She does small scale vegetable farming and also keeps chickens. Over fourteen years ago, Teresia bought weaving materials and
taught herself how to weave. Later she joined one of the self-help women’s groups that weaves baskets for Mifuko. Income from weaving has helped her cover her household expenses. In the future, she wants to build a larger house with her savings. Teresia’s favorite meal is chapatti and fried cabbage.
Peninah used to weave and sell ropes at a local marketplace. In 2018, she saw women in her village weaving baskets and became interested in the craft. She bought some sisal and paper and started teaching herself how to weave. She later joined one of the groups weaving baskets for Mifuko. She says that her earnings from weaving for Mifuko have helped her pay off a loan she had and invest in livestock. Her family is the most important thing to her in life and her favorite meal is ugali and traditional vegetables. Her wish is to become known as one of the best weavers and be a big farmer in her village.
Esther Nyira Mutinda
Esther is a widow, who has been weaving baskets for Mifuko for over a year and a half in her artisan group. She worried about managing her homestead needs after the passing of her husband, but with the new circumstances provided by Mifuko, she is now content and happy and says her health has improved. With the money earned from her crafts, she buys her daily essentials such as food, clothing and other homestead needs. She is also able to pay for her child’s education, who is in university. Esther plans to open a kiosk as a part time business.
She is a talented singer and mother of 8. When Veronica isn't tending her beautiful garden or doing household chores, she attends the singing group of her village. Veronica is very hardworking. The income she gets from weaving baskets for Mifuko helps her cater to her family's needs and pay school fees for her kids. Her favorite color is brown, and her favorite meal is ugali and cabbage.
She is not only talented in weaving baskets, but she is also a great tailor. She is passionate about her vegetable garden and hopes that one day it will be very productive. Florence intends to continue investing in expanding her garden into a farm. Florence’s favorite colors are sky blue and white, while her favorite meal is rice and beef stew.
She owns a small shop in her village and has been weaving baskets in the Kithitu women’s group since 2013, having learnt the skill from her grandmother. With the income from Mifuko she can support her family by paying school fees and buying household items. She can now also purchase a uniform for the church choir that she is part of and passionate about. Family is the most important thing in Mirriam’s life.
Eunice is a mother of 5 children who keeps a small grocery store where she sells fruits and vegetables. She uses part of her earnings from Mifuko to give tithes to her church. She plans to buy some land in the near future. Her dream is to open a bigger grocery store in the future. Her favorite meal is a local dish called Githeri.
She lives in Kyala village and is a member of the weavers self-help group King'ongi. Martha has been weaving baskets for over 10 years.Her favorite food is chapati with beef stew, and her favorite color is blue. She is also a skilled knitter, making school sweaters and seat covers. In the future, she would like to open a small tailoring shop.
Jane is an experienced Kiondo basket weaver. Her mother passed the skill down to her when she was just 18 years old. For Jane, basket weaving is a convenient side job to do at home, where she needs to work her shamba (farm), raise poultry and sell hens and eggs. She is happy weaving Kiondos
Rose is a mother of three. She has been weaving Mifuko Kiondo baskets for over 5 years and she said that she enjoys making the big baskets the most.The extra income earned from weaving for Mifuko has enabled Rose to purchase some goats and build a goat pen in her garden. She hopes to have a fine herd of goats soon!
On top of being a self-taught weaver, Anna is also a chicken and cow farmer. She sells the yield to her villagers, Easter and Christmas being the most important selling seasons. Currently she is building
her house and planning to build a better shelter for her chicken. Anna loves her family and her job.
If you ask for the best vegetables in her village you will be directed to Janet. She has been a skilled farmer for most of her life. This 36-year-old mother of two boys thought of collecting rainwater in a small pond to enable her to water her farm even during dry seasons. Janet wants to give her boys a good education, which has been her motivation to learn to weave baskets. Janet loves the color blue, and her favorite meal is ugali and vegetables like Sukuma.
Rose Mwikali Mutua
Rose’s main hobby is singing in her local choir. During her free time, she maintains her homestead, tends to her farm and reads the Bible. Rose's favorite colors are pink and white, and her favorite food is Ugali and Cabbage. She has had seven children, but sadly one has passed away. Her friends and family say her most valuable quality is giving. She uses her income from Mifuko to give offerings to her local church and to buy supplies for weaving. Ever since she started working for Mifuko, her view of the future is more optimistic.
Dorothy Mulewa Munyao
She has been weaving Mifuko baskets for over three years. She is happy with the progress in her life since she started working for Mifuko. From her earnings, Dorothy has started a chicken farm and plans on expanding it. She is now able to buy chicken food, cater to her children’s school fees and ensure her homestead needs. She is planning to buy a cow in the coming months. She is looking forward to getting more orders from Mifuko, and says she enjoys working with her fellow 30 group members.
Catherine Mumbi Mwea
She has two children and sings in her spare time to relax. She also enjoys tending to her garden, where she grows French beans, cabbage and spinach. Catherine has found innovative ways to irrigate her crops despite the harsh weather conditions in her village. She is very responsible and is loved by her friends and family for her kindness. She first learned to weave from other women in her self-help group and is happy to be part of Mifuko.
Agnes Mutuku Yimuvia
She is a member of the Mifuko team in Kikima village. She works in our warehouse and organizes the orders for the self-help groups. Agnes has seven children, and she relaxes
by doing housework and spending time with her husband. Her hobbies include Bible study and farming. She admires her husband, a builder,
and they encourage each other to work hard. Her favorite food is white rice and spinach. She is known to have a lot of cattle and says farming is her special
skill. People in her village say he is hardworking and admire her dedication to her farm.
Sabeth Katindi Mutungi
Sabeth is a self-taught weaver. She became interested in crafting after seeing women weaving in the marketplace where she sells her farm products including cows’ milk. She has been weaving baskets for Mifuko in Mumo wa Manyala women’s group since 2014. Sabeth loves working for Mifuko because it keeps her busy and she is planning to open a savings account to save for the future. The most important things to Sabeth are her family and their health. Her favorite color is blue, and her favorite meal is ugali and fried amaranth.
Faith Mutindi Mwea
She has six children. In addition to weaving, she has a farm where she grows maize and beans. Her talent is singing, and she is planning to join her local church choir. Faith’s favorite colors are white and blue while her favorite meal is chapatti and beef stew. Her role model is a local lady from her village who is a very good farmer. Her friends and family say she is a very hardworking farmer, and she acknowledges that fact. She uses the money she gets from Mifuko to pay school fees for her kids, and she saves the rest for later use.
Mary Katumo Mbuvuni
Mary has nine children and relaxes by spending time with her family. Mary is keen to learn more about finance and has been making small loans to her friends from the money she earns from weaving. Her role model is the headteacher at Syeluni Secondary School, the high school in her village. She loves eating ugali and cabbage or kale and is a very good farmer. Most people who know her admire her farm and how hardworking she is. She loves working for Mifuko since the income helps her improve her farm.
She is a skilled basket weaver, having learnt the craft at school when she was a little girl. As an environmentalist, she collects scrap metal around her village to sell to small companies which collect metal for reuse and for manufacturing purposes. From her earnings, she pays for school fees and buys food and clothes for her family. Jacinta loves the color green and the most important things in her life are her family, and her work.
She is a vegetable farmer, and in 2014 her friend taught her how to weave. Since then, Christine has enjoyed weaving with her friends in the Faith women's group. The money she earns from Mifuko is now her main source of income. The most important things for her in life are her family and seeing her children reach their goals. She loves all traditional Kamba foods like a mixture of maize and beans. Her favorite colors are yellow and blue.
Weaving has always been Beatrice's full-time job. Before she joined the women’s group weaving baskets for Mifuko in 2010, she sold her traditional baskets in the marketplace. Beatrice weaves mostly in the afternoons after she has completed her chores at home. Her plan is to open a kiosk for basic home care products; she would also like to buy a cow.
Irene is also the owner of a small business, selling both chickens and eggs. She starts her day early in the morning, getting her three children ready for school, then cleans her home and tends her chickens. Irene began weaving baskets in 2010 and weaves in the afternoons. Irene loves working for Mifuko because it has helped her raise her standard of living, not just financially but also socially. Irene uses her income to pay school fees and for her home needs.
Hellena is also a farmer who owns cows and farms crops such as peas, vegetables, and fruit. Hellena has been weaving baskets since she was a young girl, learning the skill from her grandmother. Now she weaves baskets for Mifuko in the Kyondo women’s group. She is planning to invest in the large-scale farming of mangoes.
Jane is known as a songbird in her village. She sings in the local church choir. She is also a farmer of oranges, mangoes and vegetables, selling her harvest in the market. Jane's aunt taught her how to weave when she was young so during the off-season, she is a full-time basket weaver in the Kyondo women’s group.
Jacinta Nzyoki Muketani
Jacinta is known in her community as a woman who loves preaching from the bible. She is a talented singer and enjoys singing in her local church choir. Her favorite colors are black and white. Jacinta’s role model in life is the Tanzanian gospel artist, Rose Muhando. Her favorite meal is a local Kenyan dish known as Muthokoi, which is made of maize and beans.
She is a member of Mifuko's Kingongi women’s group since 2011. She learned to weave a couple of years before she joined Mifuko. Philles has learned a lot about farming from her chairlady, Jane Mutala. Philles now owns a poultry farm and a dairy cow, and she sells cow’s milk in the marketplace. She plans to be one of the best egg and dairy supply women in her village. Her wish is to open a dairy shop in the market where she can sell milk and weave baskets at the same time.
She is a skilled hairdresser who plaits most of the women’s hair in her village. Currently she doesn’t have a salon, so she mostly does the ladies hair at home. Besides doing hair, she also weaving baskets. She was taught how to weave by her mother-in-law in the year 2000 and she joined the women’s group. She is saving to open a salon and buy all the requirements like shampoo, blow-dries and combs and to pay her children high school fees. Lucia´s favorite meals include, rice, chapatti and ugali.
Alice Kavindu Moses
Alice is a goat farmer who is known for her warm personality. Her favorite foods are chapatti and rice, and her favorite color is orange. She has been weaving baskets for Mifuko with Echa Kuoko women’s group since 2014. Alice starts her day by cleaning her homestead and taking the goats out to find food, later in the day she weaves baskets. Alice loves working with Mifuko and plans to open a saving account in the future. The most important thing for her in life is her family.
In Manyala village where she lives, she is known for her joyful personality and great sense of business. She owns one of the best shops of the village, which keeps her busy, but she still finds time to weave baskets in the evenings. Josephine’s favorite color is maroon, and her favorite foods are ugali and githeri. Josephine has four children and family is the most important thing in her life.
She is the breadwinner of her family and starts her day early by preparing breakfast for her family and cleaning her home. She then goes out to find sisal to weave ropes to be sold in the local market. She also weaves baskets in the Faith Women’s group in which she has been a member since 2013. For Joyce, her family and her job are the most important things in her life. In the future, she wants to buy a water tank to start farming vegetables and selling them in addition to ropes. Joyce sings in her local church choir.
She is known for weaving beautiful sweaters in her small tailoring shop. In 2014 she became interested in weaving baskets and asked her mother in-law to teach her this skill. Now Hellena is in Faith Women’s Group, and she weaves in the mornings after she has prepared her children for school and later in the evenings before she goes to sleep. Income from Mifuko has helped her with school fees and other household needs. The most important thing in Hellena’s life is her family. She wants to open a saving account. Her favorite meal is chapatti and stew while her favorite colors are yellow and blue.
Dorcas Nzuki Ngunduni
She is a widow and a mother of five children. During her free time, she likes reading the Bible and singing. She is a very talented tailor and handcrafts small seat covers for her own household and friends. Her favorite color is sky blue; seeing it brings her joy. Her role model is a teacher from her village named Mr. Gangi. Her favorite meal is ugali and stew. Dorcas is great at mediating quarrels or chaos in the village. She is known and admired for her patience and forgiveness and her ability to exist in peace with her neighbors. She loves weaving, and says she uses weaving to ease her stress.
Josephine Mumbi Kile Nthaani
She has been weaving Mifuko’s baskets for more than four years in her women’s group. The group consists of 28 women, who Josephine consider both as friends and co-workers. Her days are quite busy as besides weaving, she has to do household chores. She usually starts her mornings with weaving for an hour, then does her homestead chores and weaves again in the evening. The extra income from working for Mifuko enables her to buy household items such as food and clothes, and also helps her to pay her children’s school fees.
Esther Kamami Utomoni
She is the oldest basket weaver in her group, who is over 74 years old and has 6
children. Esther enjoys doing little chores, like sweeping her homestead. Her favorite color is purple and her favorite foods are chapatti, rice, cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. Esther’s role model is one of her daughters, who is a teacher in a local secondary
school and her name is Jacinta Mwongeli. Esther's best personal quality is love. Her family and friends love her caring and wise nature and character.
Rose Nzilani Muthoka
Rose has been weaving Mifuko baskets for over six years now. She tends to her farm and other chores during the day and weaves her baskets at night, since she has been able to buy a solar panel that gives light in the dark hours. She can pay the school fees for her three children and still cater to her homestead, while her husband is currently unemployed. Rose gets on very well with the women in her group, fully enjoys weaving baskets, and looks forward to more orders from Mifuko in the future!
Veronica Wayua Ngunduni
Veronica is a talented singer and mother of eight children. When she isn’t tending her beautiful garden or doing house chores, she attends the singing group of her village. She looks up to the chairlady of her group, Felister Muoto. Locals in her village say that Veronica is very hardworking, especially with weaving baskets. The income from Mifuko helps her cater to her homestead needs and daily fees for her children. Her favorite color is chocolate brown while her favorite meal is ugali, cabbage fried with tomatoes and cornmeal.
Florence is not only talented in weaving baskets, but she is also a gifted tailor. Her main profession is tailoring dresses and other clothes. Her other passion is her vegetable garden, which she hopes will one day be as healthy as her friend Josephine Mwanzia’s garden. She says that her next investment will be in expanding her garden into a farm. She plans to buy a cow and a goat and is saving up most of her income to do so.
Florence’s favorite colors are sky blue and white, while her favorite meal is rice and beef stew.