I do not remember the first time I owned a pair of khanga but I do remember how often I borrowed my mother's own. It is without a doubt that I fell in love with this piece of African fabric the day it met me. My earliest memories of my khanga, or should I say, mama's khanga was during nap time. Apparently I loved to suck on my tongue while gently stroking the khanga as I slip off the conscious world into the subconscious slumber. The softness of the khanga against my small palm was sweet enough to put me at ease and straight into sleep.
The world of khanga was so vast to the point that it took me years to come to a full appreciation of its usefulness and complexity. I remember the days before I left my home for boarding school at a tender age of 12, my mother brought into my room a beautiful pair of khanga. She set me down and gently reminded me of all the things I needed to keep in mind in my journey away from home. Her soft beautiful voice gently urged me to be the best young girl I could be. Then she joyfully shared a fact that I never forgot since then..."every young woman ought to have her own pair of khanga, and here is yours!" You should have seen my eyes! I was so happy because on top of new pair of khanga, she had slipped in the old pair that I loved borrowing and a head scarf that I still own today! Mhh that head scarf... well, that is a story for another day!
So as I go into my currently collection of khangas, I find myself in the same position with my girls, introducing them to the beautiful world of khanga with all its designs and wonders. They too are excited with the many possibilities the khanga holds. I feel so privileged to experience this journey with them.
I know you too have a khanga story to share. I would love to hear about it. Please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of your khanga collection and we will feature it here on our blog site. Looking forward to hearing from you!