THE TRIBAL DRUM
As the rainy season begins and we draw closer to Christmas we wanted to look back over the years’ many highs in this second edition of the Tribal Drum. 2011 has been a great success and seen the development of stunning new products, designs and colourways as well as individual staff achievements and new Tribal Textiles’ stockists opening up worldwide.
As ever we have continued with our creative development. Due to the incredible feedback we received from our last newsletter we are launching our Butterfly design which will be available across our whole product range in hot pinks. We have revived the iconic Feather design by launching it in the smoke colourway and have experimented with a new flower design called Lily in a powerful new colourway called Peony.
We were also delighted to have yet another very successful year at the Zambian Art and Design Show (ZADS). This show was founded by our Director, Gillie Lightfoot, with the help of artists Charles Barr and Butterfly Bishop. An annual event dating back to 2008, the Fair started in Gillie’s back-garden and has now grown into the largest one day craft event in Zambia. This year it was in central Lusaka under huge marquees with thousands of residents and tourists coming to do their Christmas shopping whilst also enjoying food, beverages and festive entertainment (www.zambianartanddesignshow.com). Gillie helped us create a stunning stand featuring some of our latest designs. Our products were very sought after and we were rushed off our feet helping clients find their perfect Tribal Textiles piece.
Did you know that Tribal Textiles is one of the largest employers within the Mfuwe area in Zambia? In peak season we employ over 100 workers. On average every worker employed has at least 6 dependants meaning, through supporting Tribal Textiles, you will be positively impacting the lives of over 600 people. So in traditional Zambian thanks we would like to say Zikomo Kwambili.
After such a positive 2011 it was important to thank those responsible for helping Tribal Textiles to flourish. Our annual Workshop Christmas Party took place on Saturday giving our artists, handy men and shop staff time to enjoy a Christmas meal, drinks and to relax in Zambian style. Prizes for outstanding achievement and contribution were awarded for each department and three employees also received additional bonuses for their incredible attendance record – in 9 months of production they missed not a single day of work. The Tribal Choir also made a welcome return entertaining staff with African tunes for the event!
Whilst all our artists have worked hard we wanted to highlight the incredible work done by Tereser Mbewe in this newsletter. Tereser works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure her dispatch team sends the correct order at the right quality to our stockists worldwide. Tereser has had a tough life, although by her warm smile each morning you would never know. She was a single orphan at the age of 6 and the youngest of 12 siblings. Tereser was lucky enough to find work with Tribal Textiles in 1991, having tragically lost 8 siblings, and as the only bread winner her job was essential as she supports 4 orphans and her mother.
Tereser started out at Tribal Textiles as a stock controller where her sense of calm and eye for detail lead to her promotion to the Sewing Department in 2003 where she worked for 7 years. In 2010, she was promoted to Head of the Dispatch Department which she runs with astounding efficiency! Tereser was one of the staff members to receive a bonus for attendance this year and her incredible work ethic has helped us achieve our highest yielding year in production; she is a huge asset to Tribal Textiles and when asked what she liked most about working here she replied ‘the chance to learn new things.’
We are already excited about our future projects for 2012 and are using the rainy season to focus on some essential staff training. We are sponsoring our Head of Production, Moses, and Senior Accountant, Ivan, to take driving lessons; our Stock Coordinator, Kizylous will attend an Excel, Word and Accountancy Training course in Chipata; and our electrician, Mordecai, will take an intermediate electrician’s course. Our accountants, Nathan and Ivan, will also be revising hard and sitting Accountancy in Business and Level 2 Advanced Taxation and Business and Company Law exams respectively. Our shop will remain open throughout the rains only closing on Christmas Day with our Retail Manager, Rosie, carrying on her inspiring projects to ensure it looks innovative and beautiful. Kirstie, our General Manager, and Kate, our Sales & Marketing Manager, will be working over the rainy season to help you place fresh orders for next year.
We will be keeping an eye on the water levels as we start 2012 and hope to avoid any flooding and open our workshop in early March! In the meantime the team at Tribal Textiles thank you for all your support in 2011 and wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.