‘Mama Eva’ …an extraordinary woman

In 2006 when we were looking for Maasai women communities that would be interested in the project we met Elisabeth Saibulu… ‘Mama Eva’. An extremely kind woman in her late thirties , very diffident but carefully listening to our words while noisy children, cows, dogs and goats were all asking her attention. There was a strong contrast between her natural stylishness and the dusty worn out shuka (Maasai blanket) she was wearing. She was somehow standing out even though nothing was really unusual in the whole picture.
A few years down the line Mama Eva has undoubtedly become the best artisan of Maasai Women Art and is often involved in the quality control process. Last year she was chosen by our designer Francesca Torri Soldini to assist her in the production of prototypes for the new collection 2013.
Mama Eva checking Eva necklace  Mama Eva  checks Eva Necklace   Mama Eva learning from Margaret   Mama Eve with Margaret

Well…it is only recently that I found out that Mama Eva had no clue about beading jewelries but envisaged the potential behind the Maasai Women Art project straight away. She quickly learned the techniques to the point that her work these days is so precise and neat one would sometime think it was produced by machine.
Mama Eva has now started to take English lessons and would like to learn to use the computer.
Mama Eva grew up in a raditional Maasai boma with 2 brothers and 4 sisters. Her parents must have been exceptionally wise to recognize in those ‘early days’ the importance of education. All of the children terminated standard seven.
Mama Eva has 4 daughters aging from 9 to 20 year. Her first born Eva will start university soon.
It is women like her that I want to celebrate and support in the hope that they will become an example for future generations.
It is women like Mama Eva that inspire me and remind me why I am doing what I do!

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