It was a bright morning and Sama was elated, antsy and ready to go on an adventure on a boat to watch the fleeting but epic sunset. She however had to help her mother weave baskets before leaving.
Sama came from a family of basket weavers. This was their way of life going back many generations where women were taught to weave baskets.
Sama found it difficult to weave the baskets on her own, so she called Taji, her older and more experienced sister, to help. Sama was the playful and dreamy one.
The sunset was precious to her as it reminded her of her father and their plentiful adventures when she was younger. Their adventures involved fishing and stopping by the riverbanks to watch the sunset.
She imagined the shimmering glare of the setting sun on the lapping waves and the stray rays flickering across her skin, giving her warmth in the cool evening. It was the same feeling as the sun sprays on the ocean’s surface with golden rays before the night falls.
“I really can’t wait to leave. I have so many places to visit and see. The sun will soon set and I’ll miss the boat that goes down the stream.” said Sama. She secretly wanted to leave the small village that moved at a different tempo.
Taji snapped her back into reality. “How about we get Mrs Dari to help us?”
Mrs Dari helped Mama to weave baskets and had built up on her skill through her grandmother many years ago.
“That’s a good idea!” Sama smiled in agreement.
They headed down the slippery and slimy path to the river to fetch reeds which dried quickly under the sun.
“Sama, still excited to go see the sun set?”, Mrs Dari laughed .
Mrs Dari’s hearty laughter reminded her of her father’s laughter which she had not heard for too many moons to count.
“Yes of course, Mrs Dari, but Mama needs these baskets weaved before I can leave. Please help me Mrs Dari?”
“I would love to. How about we sit down and start a new basket?”
Mrs Dari, Sama and Taji sat under the vibrant mango tree and told stories as they weaved and laughed without a care in the world.
True living is creating a bond with those around you, rather than chasing a fleeting adventure and leaving the best moments behind you.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~African proverb~
Sama stayed on with Mrs Dari and Taji, getting lost in the conversation. Their basket weaving session was blessed with the best sunset she ever did see. Sama realised that the best things are under your nose if you open your eyes. The promise of the ocean remained for another day.
African baskets have been around long before the discovery of rice in the 1600s and have been used to separate rice grains from their husks for years.
They are also used as hats, beehives and even houses!
Basket weaving is a skill that has been passed down from generations from grandmother to granddaughter.
Different countries and regions in Africa have distinct ways of weaving using various materials like reeds, grasses, sisal, banana fibre, palm leaves among many others.