‘Tis the Season

Get them “Made in Kenya”

Christmas shopping! Such a daunting task for the unimaginative, sometimes too busy and really just last minute, procrastinating people like myself. What do you get your friends and family that isn’t an 80bob card from the local supermarket, coupled with a cheap bottle of wine or whiskey? Should dad get lame tie or perhaps another pair of cuff links this year. I was in the same spot. Boring. Until this thread from Patricia Kihoro popped up on twitter.

There are a lot of brilliant gift ideas on the thread, but here are a couple that stood out for me.

For the cool BFF (Yes this is still a thing.)

Peperuka offers a world of colour, wit and humour when it comes to apparel, for men and women, home décor in form of cushions, wall art, fridge magnets and table mats. Wangari Nyanjui, inspired by everyday life and particularly expressions quite unique to Kenyans, used in our everyday interactions has created a niche market and used it to turn a profit. “Hii joto ni ya mvua” (this heat…it’s definitely going to rain.) “Mine is just to say something small” “Me I love Nairobi.” “I’m in a small meeting.” “Tuma na ya kutoa.” (when sending mobile money, send with the withdrawal fees) are the conversation starters you’ll find on the fridge magnets to T-shirts and other merchandise on the website.

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For Dad, Your Brother or the Boyfriend who won’t let go of the Movember Beard.

“Say Yes to a Perfect Beard.” That’s the line that sets you off into a shopping endeavor when you log onto the Mandevu platform, Kenya’s first Beard Care Company. They offer a range of products from Beard oil to Sandalwood Combs for the beards and my favourite, the beard kit. Everything in a perfect starter pack. Aside from that, they have a blog on the site as well with tips on beard care; grooming, moisturizing, cleansing etc Plus fun Mo facts like “Research shows that women find men with a beard are more attractive,” (this writer agrees!)

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For the Book Lover

The Magunga Bookstore, launched early this year to “promote the distribution and reading of Kenyan and African books,” recently featured in the New Yorker, is a trove of African gems. From poetry to short stories, children’s books and novels, all by African writers, it’s easy to see why this is quickly becoming the go to place for titles and authors your local bookstore doesn’t stock. Check them out!

All these options are absolutely “Made in Kenya,” creative and conveniently located, online! Payment via mobile money is accepted and some even offer free delivery.

What are you getting them this Christmas?

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