The Tribal Drum - July 2014 Posted on 12 Jul 00:00 , 0 comments

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July 2014

It’s been a busy few months at Tribal Textiles. We’re excited to have dispatched our first orders of the year to the US, UK and Australia amongst others and we celebrated Africa Freedom Day along with our artists and some mischievous visitors to the workshop! As winter sets in, we were also lucky enough to hit upon a sunny day to reshoot our Kunda design in Kalahari and Moroccan in Clays. See the full behind-the-scenes story here, while the new beautiful images are now available to view on our website.

Tribal Textiles in the Bush

Tribal Textiles new Photos

It has been an especially magical few weeks for our General Manager Kirstie, who returned to Zambia in April with her fiancé Ed and baby daughter Sukey. In May Ed and Kirstie tied the knot in a magical ceremony on the banks of the Luangwa River, attended by friends and family, as well as a few baboons and elephants for good luck! Of course the day just wouldn’t have been complete without a Tribal touch, and it was with huge pride that the Tribal Textiles choir sang Kirstie down the aisle, and later treated the guests to traditional Zambian marriage songs to celebrate the day.

Kirstie and Ed getting married

Tribal Textiles Choir

Another Tribal Textiles couple celebrating this year is our Assistant Head of Starching Max Sakala and his wife Hilda, who will be marking their 35th wedding anniversary in 2014! Max and Hilda were married at home on October 26th 1979 and now have 6 children and 4 grandchildren who all live on the same family plot together, just down the road from our workshop.

When we asked Max what he believes is the secret to a happy and peaceful marriage he gave Kirstie and Ed the following advice:

“Think of your marriage as more than you two, it is the union of two families who will now help each other into the future. In marriage it is also important for a wife to have her own business where possible, to add to the family’s prosperity and also the wife’s character. Finally, try not to drink too much beer as it leads to misunderstandings!”

Wise words we feel, from our legendary Super Max.


Did you know….That the iconic African baobabs may be the oldest trees in Africa? Baobabs don’t develop growth rings like other trees, but have to be radiocarbon dated like ancient artifacts. Some baobabs have been dated to nearly 2,000 years old and one in South Africa is so large it houses its very own pub with wine cellar next door!


As always, our staff are at the forefront of our minds in 2014. Our Workshop Manager Moses and Accountant Nathan have been working to become Peer Educators with SHARe II, a USAID project dedicated to HIV/AIDS training and treatment. The project trains Peer Educators to provide guidance on getting tested, counseling, prevention, financial advice and positive living. Nathan and Moses have brought this knowledge back to our workshop, where they hold lunchtime meetings open to all our staff members.

SHARe Project

The project has met with an incredibly positive response from our staff, with the opportunity to discuss issues in a supportive environment and gain up-to-date information encouraging many people to find out their statuses and get much needed treatment. Nathan explains that many of our artists have also begun holding meetings in their own communities, using the information from SHARe II to educate friends, neighbours and their families too. Although the issues involved can be very difficult to talk about, the process of communication has been vital in helping to destigmatise a condition that affects so many people in Zambia.

The project is ongoing, and Nathan and Moses will continue to work with SHARe II in 2014. Nathan says the most rewarding part is seeing people gain the confidence to get tested in the knowledge that with the right treatment they have the chance to go on to live healthier, more productive lives.

Discussion Board with Staff


We are very lucky at Tribal Textiles to be surrounded by the stunning Zambian bush and we are always keen to support environmental initiatives. This year we have also been promoting our fantastic cushion bags in a bid to help reduce plastic bag use. With over 1 million plastic bags consumed worldwide per minute, our colourful and spacious cushion bags are a fantastic eco-friendly alternative that can brighten up grocery shopping for years to come! We are delighted that visitors to our Mfuwe outlet agree, and cushion bags have now become one of our top selling products.

Cushion bags come in our full range of beautiful designs and colourways; please see our website or drop us a line at for more details.

Reduce Plastic Use!

It’s hard to believe that we’re thinking about Christmas already! Nevertheless, we are preparing our artists for our first Christmas orders to arrive and gearing up for the Zambia Arts and Design Show in November 2014. We’re also looking ahead to peak safari season here in Zambia and working hard on innovative and exciting new products for our range.

For more information and the opportunity to chat to us about placing an order, please email You can also keep up to date with all our activities on our Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages.

Until next time, we’d love to thank all our wonderful clients and stockists for supporting Tribal Textiles and all our fantastic artists and staff!