Samburu women turn age-old beading craft into cash cow

Mr Vishal Shah, Kalama Community Conservancy beadworks director, rewards Ms Nabiki Leseper from Kalama Women Group after she was named best performer for saving Sh26,220 in her sacco in 2018. Women in Samburu are using necklaces for economic empowerment. PHOTO | GITONGA MARETE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The women are organised into self-help groups and sponsored by the Northern Rangelands Trust.
  • Last year, they made Sh11 million from the ornaments and saved Sh1.5 million in a cooperative society.
  • Mr Ture Boru, the community’s economic director, said that the women have embraced the project.

Among the Samburu, beaded necklaces are used by morans to “book” girls as young as 12 years for marriage, with the ornaments taking on the odious role as instruments of sexual exploitation.

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