This one, roughly translated from Swahili states, "you talk too much." My mother brought it back from Zanzibar (Tanzania) last year and she asked me to make a tablecloth and some napkins with the fabric.
The colors, amazing and the patterns, vivid. That brilliant shade of blue is complimented by the striking black and white designs. I cut the pieces for the napkins starting at the edge to showcase the fabric's best asset—the border. I made eight napkins from one half of the khanga, and made the other half into a tablecloth. My mother had forgotten all about the fabric (yes, I suppose forgetfulness does run in the family) and we used them with Christmas dinner.
I spent a good while reading Khanga phrases online today. The vastness of the sentiments are amazing and range from scorching: "The mother-in-law resorts to witchcraft to alienate her son from his wife" (ouch!), to loving: "There is no guardian like a mother." And from blunt: "I don't want empty greetings" to contemplative: "To give is something of the heart, not riches."
I'm on board with this Tanzanian tradition of wearing convictions and dispositions like this. I have already chosen a few favorites: "Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents; it was loaned to you by your children" and "This is the place you are looking for."
Which one would you choose?