Tag Archives: kitenge

Kigoma

Kigoma town is smaller than Mwanza and it’s commercial centre comprises a road leading up from the Railway Station. Kigoma is the end of the line for the train which runs from Dar Es Salaam via Tabora.

  
Near the station in the trees are hundreds of fruit bats hanging like black fruit from the trees. Easily scared they swarm in great flocks above the town. 

    
    
   
Kigoma has no large supermarket unlike Mwanza but does have small dukas selling a variety of goods. Even so it has a lot less to offer the ex-pat than Mwanza which suddenly seems a lot more westernised.   

    
   
The town has a bustling market area with fruit and veg sellers “cheek by jowl” with vitenge (cloth) sellers. 

    
     
The material here is more varied than in Mwanza incorporating Burundian and Congolese styles as well as Tanzanian. 

 There are Bijaji everywhere here and no piki piki that we have seen – Mwanza seems out of step with other towns as Bijaji are common in places like Moshi too.  

   
There are some nice hotels here such as the Hilltop Hotel where we ate last night (a little pricey but some good food). The hotel has an amazing view of the lake,  a fabulous pool (we didn’t swim) and its  very own herd of zebra. 

    
    
    
   

Cloth of Colour

The clothing here in Mwanza varies from traditional kitenge to modern t-shirts, however regardless of the dress code it tends to be bright and colourful. Clothing combinations which might seem bizarre in the UK, somehow work here, Here are a selection of some of the clothing we have seen here in Tanzania.

This week we held the annual school Fashion Show on the theme Africa of the Future. Students designed and modelled outfits made from Masai Cloth or Kitenge Cloth. For obvious reasons photos here obscure the identity of the students, but nonetheless show off some of the colourful designs.

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Since we have been here we have opted for some of the Tanzanian designs ourselves. Kitenge cloth is relatively cheap as it the labour of a fundi (tailor) to make clothing for us. Some examples below.