Many Patterns, One World


LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — This is the woman who sells chitenges at the Northmead market. She knows quality and is fair, and I believe is the best person to buy chitenges from in Lusaka. And everyone should have five or six chitenges.

I have about 25, including presents for those at home.

We have an understanding that in addition to good patterns and colors, I am interested in chitenges with religious and political themes, and that I am collecting chitenges with “things” on them. I gave her my card and she has called me when she found ones decorated with locks, MP3 players, shoes, slippers, baskets.

She is The Chitenge Lady in my book. No reason to look further.

(If you are in Lusaka take Great East Road to a little west of Manda Hill Shopping Center, to the wonderful enclave you should visit anyway called the Northmead Market. You can get fresh vegetables and find out how to cook them there as well as hardware, photocopies, used clothes and shoes, and possibly the best deal on African crafts towards the back of the market.

The Chitenge Lady was showing me where to go for good used boots there recently on the day President Obama spoke in Ghana. His voice blared from every rickety stall — from radios, portable televisions — and I was proud. That’s my president, I told her.

“Yes,” she smiled. “Mine too.”


. . . And speaking of taking pride once again in being Americans, a friend sent this:

Dear Friend,

Newsweek reported Saturday that Attorney General Eric Holder is considering appointing a prosecutor to investigate whether the Bush administration illegally tortured terrorism suspects.

You can find a link to that article here:

A decision is expected in the next few weeks. Holder should investigate torture, and he should start with former Vice President Dick Cheney and his legal adviser, David Addington.

I just signed a petition to tell Attorney General Holder to assign a prosecutor to investigate torture. I hope you will, too. Please have a look and take action.


2 Responses

  1. I better be getting a chitenge!!

  2. […] Many Patterns, One World July 2009 1 comment 5 […]

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