Africa – a land of beauty, diversity, and incredible vistas – has a special spot in my heart. My love for travel, exploration and discovery is always on high alert when I travel to destinations on the African continent – it is vast, and there are many cultures, traditions, festivals and foods to enjoy. It is diverse from the north to the south … leaving you with a sense of awe! As a teenager, I lived in Mauritius (an island off the coast of Africa, further east from Madagascar). I spent over five years living a life you cannot replicate today. I really enjoyed my visits to mainland Africa and some of the surrounding islands like La Reunion, Seychelles, and Zanzibar (a skip from Dar es Salaam)!
A land of adventure, vistas and endless beauty
I was fascinated by what I saw in the stores, at the hawker markets and the roadside stalls, and often picked up nick-knacks, carvings, baskets, and other artifacts on my many trips. Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa were all very fascinating to me – and every trip had new discoveries for me to make! My appreciation for things different really developed in the years that I lived on this small island - only about 860 square miles, it was paradise itself. My teenage years were about playing soccer, hanging out at the beach, visiting different parts of Africa, and keeping my grade – what a life! This cemented my curiosity for the world and a life of endless travel … I returned to India to attend St. Stephen’s College in Delhi (3rd Generation), graduated, and went to work for a bit in India and then promptly departed to take jobs and live in the Middle East, Hong Kong, Canada and then the US.
My love for Africa and memories of travels to their cities and animal sanctuaries like the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania), Masai Mara Nature Reserve (Kenya), and Kruger National Park (South Africa) have left me with vivid and colorful images of the vastness and beauty of the African scenery – majestic animals, agile and beautiful in their natural surroundings. Even the trees and shrubbery have a beauty of their own … and the setting sun and dusk create images in your mind that time will never erase.
Many years later and through many wanderings, I find myself back at a journey I started when I was probably 13 or 14! My traveling merchant business partner, Angela, and I are once again looking at the riches that Africa has to offer – simple handcrafted items with a sense of beauty and detail that leaves you enamored and speechless! Little baskets woven by human hands, each almost unique in detail and texture, or grass table-mats, fans, ornaments, small décor items, carvings, other unique items that show off their skills, gifts, and mastery of their craftsmanship.
We at Wisteria are delighted to bring you a small selection of items from this grand and alluring continent based on my personal experiences – some of these items are from Ghana, others from Senegal, and some from other places like Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda – this is just a small start, we plan to continue to present such finds from Africa and other parts of the world we live in – celebrating all things the markets have to offer.
Enjoy this selection with our best wishes for the season!