Abdallah is from the Nyasa tribe from Malawi. His parents moved to Tanzania before he was born. He is Kitenge’s master tailor with 35 years of experience and was taught by his uncle. Since working with Kitenge from 2015, Abdallah has purchased several new sewing machines, opened his own workshop and has employed 2 other tailors called Mrisho and Hassan. In the near future he plans to move to a larger workshop and hire more tailors to utilise all of his new machines.
Mrisho is from the Zaramo tribe from Dar es Salaam where he grew up. He was taught how to sew by Abdallah when they both lived in Arusha together and has 19 years experience. They later moved to different regions in Tanzania but stayed in touch. When Abdallah opened his new workshop in Dar es Salaam in May 2016 he invited Mrisho to come and work with him. Mrisho specialises in womenswear but can make any item of clothing. In his spare time he likes to support Manchester United and his local team Yanga Football Club.
Hassan graduated from Secondary School in 2009 and became a qualified tailor in 2012 after being taught by Abdallah who is a family friend. Hassan owns his own workshop which he built himself in the north of Tanzania and employs his own apprentice. He is very loyal to Abdallah and joins him at his workshop when he needs additional help. Hassan has created Kitenge clothing since we first met him in 2015 and is a valuable member of the team.
Titus learnt to become a tailor in 1987 after studying at a college in Zambia. He has been running his own business in Tanzania for 29 years and currently employs 4 other tailors who work together as a team. In order to grow his business he would like to move to a larger workshop and invest in more equipment.
Betty is from the Pare tribe but grew up in Dar es Salaam. She taught herself how to sew and produces Kitenge’s hair accessories and bunting using the recycled, leftover material from our clothing production. After Betty graduated from university in 2013, with a degree in Computer Science, she set up her own business from home where she has her own workshop. Betty employs 6 staff members and has recently built a larger workshop to expand her business.
Issa is from the Nyaramba tribe but was born and grew up in Dar es Salaam. He has 3 years experience and started his own business in 2015 making unique, colourful bags and accessories. He used to be a private tutor but decided to make bags for a living instead after being taught by his friend. Issa currently works from home but would like to open his own workshop and employ other tailors in the future once his business is more established. In his spare time he enjoys playing checkers and swimming in the ocean.