Scotland-Malawi chitenje cloth launches to celebrate partnership

19 Oct 2018
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The Scotland-Malawi chitenje cloth was officially launched in Glasgow on 6th October. Now’s your chance to buy it before it sells out!

At our AGM, we launched the official Scotland-Malawi chitenje cloth, designed and created by our sister network, the Malawi Scotland Partnership.

As our members will know, Chitenje is an important piece of Malawian culture. In Malawi, it is a tradition to make chitenjes for major events. The cloth is a symbol representing many things, including respect, dignity, and African spirit and pride, while also signifying the seriousness of an event.

To have everyone wearing the same chitenje is unifying and communicates a shared message or goal for the event.

Vera Kamtukule, Chief Executive Officer at the Malawi Scotland Partnership (MaSP), says they are delighted to launch the official Scotland-Malawi chitenje cloth which has the phrase ‘championing the people to people principle’ on it.

“We exist to champion the people to people principle between Malawi and Scotland,” Vera said.

“It was important for us to seal those words on that cloth to drive the point home of our work.

“What we do has never been done before, as far as we are concerned we are doing it right.

“We are championing a different form of international development that is rooted in equality and so it was important to put that notion in print to show how proud we are of what we have been able to achieve so far, and also to foster an interest in others to follow suit."

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Already, the new chitenje has been worn at events both in Malawi and Scotland as a symbol or the unique friendship, with Vera adding that she hopes it will continue to be ‘worn with pride’  in both countries in the years to come.

 “A chitenje usually carries a specific message for the event that goes beyond the day, it is another way of effective communication which has stood the test of time in this country,” Vera says.

“Wearing a chitenje shows dignity and it is worn by anyone regardless of class. As a matter of fact, wearing clothes made from a chitenje not only shows where you come from, they signify the African spirit and pride.

“We wanted to create something which can be shared between the two countries and used as a symbol of friendship. What better way to do that than through a chitenje?

“And what better way to share a culture than to have friends from Scotland follow suit? When someone gives you a chitenje as a gift, consider yourself blessed. It is a symbol that represents many things in not only Malawi but across the African region.”

Any profits from the sale of the cloth will be re-invested back into the Malawi Scotland Partnership, helping keep membership fees for our partners in Malawi as low as possible.

Current products made, in Malawi, from the new official Malawi-Scotland chitenjes cloth include:

•             Chitenje cloth: £15

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•             Laptop bags: £15

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•             Lap Skirts: £10

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•             Shirts: £15

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•             Shoulder bags: £10

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•             Aprons: £10 

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•             Head bands: £2

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You can also purchase the chitenje cloth.

Any profits go back into supporting the work of the Malawi Scotland Partnership.

If you would like to buy any of the above products, please get in touch with us.