One of my favourite things about being able to write this blog is to deepen my knowledge about
African cultures and share that with others. This month we are pleased to be showcasing luxurious
cotton homewares are from our favourite South African weavers, Mungo. Designing and weaving all
its products at its mill in Plettenberg Bay, in the Western Cape the high-quality, creativity and
diversity of its output has meant that its reputation is spreading internationally.
The Kuba Kingdom rose to prominence in its heyday in the 18th and 19th century around what is now
modern day Republic of Congo. A long period of prosperity and stability saw a rise in the
commissioning of local artisans by Kuba nobles and Kings to create object that displayed their status
and wealth. Kuba cloth is traditionally made of raffia woven from palm leaves. Mungo has taken
inspiration from Kuba textile patterns to create its Bakuba throw, woven from 100% cotton grown in
Kikoy is a Swahili word for a Kenyan traditional cloth worn by men in East Africa. Originally
introduced to the East African coast by Arab traders it is now an integral part of Kenyan culture. Its
popularity lies in its multi-functionality and it can be worn in several different ways with various
uses; wrap, scarf, blanket or towel means that kikoys are gaining ground internationally. We love
Mungo’s simple and stylish kikoys and they are perfect for the beach, garden or pool.
South Africa has eleven (yes, eleven!) official languages. One of these is isiXhosa, which is spoken by
approximately seven million people, including my own father, who is a Xhosa. Nelson Mandela is
perhaps the most famous Xhosa you might know of but you might have heard ‘The Click Song’ which
was a big hit for another famous isiXhosa speaker, the singer Miriam Makeba who was well-known
for her music, as well as her activism in opposing apartheid.
Trevor Noah, the South African presenter of The Daily Show in the US is another famous isiXhosa
Based in Plettenberg Bay, the Western Cape Mungo has created the Itawuli towel range. ‘itawuli’ is
the isiXhosa word for ‘towel’. Using a palette of colours that references South African landscape and
culture and woven using flat-weave technique the Itawuli are a perfect high-quality addition to any