Greetings and Salutations,
Well, all those of us that live on the East Coast of Africa, especially in the Zululand area are most probably suffering from a severe overdose of heat. And I was talking to a colleague the other day and she mentioned that she was melting in the heat. I said "cool", "I am past that stage, as I am already liquid" - just kidding. But agreeably we all are suffering from the heat and should drink as much water or liquids as possible. Interestingly when the temperature reaches a certain point we no longer desire sweetened drinks but go straight for water. So drink-up!
Anyway, what I would really like to focus on this week is bio-degradable tourism. It is a little more specific than it might seem. When I say specific I mean a type of tourism product only found in the distribution area of Isithunywa. Yes, these are all the woven products made by local communities for the tourism markets throughout South Africa. And also many of these products also get exported. So you will immediately ask why here, why are all these products made in this area. Well, the coastal area, has mainly sandy soils, and it can be accepted that you need clay to make clay pots. Since there is no clay, hundreds of ears ago a weaving industry started. It must have been a simple start, but today we see a huge weaving industry. All these woven products are made from a variety of grasses. Grasses also include the two types of palm trees found in this area. But what is so amazing is that these products are very long lasting.
Yes, many of the natural grasses, reeds and palm leaves used in the manufacture of these products are very tough and are coated with natural waxes. Therefore insects and fungus seldom attack them. Traditionally they were used to carry and store all sorts of substances and even used to make traditional "Zulu Beer". So when you think of the traditional value of these products they were like Tupperware. Or should I say they were like plastic kitchen ware, but once you were done with this product you could just throw it away and it would form compost. Great - totally eco-friendly and biodegradable. So the next time you are thinking of a gift for that special person overseas, think of our local "African Tupperware". But remember to tell your friends the real value of these remarkable Zululand Products.
Hasta la vista