A Journey from Kilimanjaro to New York: Celebrating My Heritage at This and That Stores

As we observe Black History Month, my journey from the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to the vibrant streets of New York takes on additional significance. This month, we honor not only the rich tapestry of African cultures, languages, and traditions that I bring to This and That Stores but also the profound contributions of Africans and their descendants worldwide. The African Collection at our store is more than just a business initiative; it's a vibrant celebration of African heritage, echoing the resilience, creativity, and enduring spirit of a continent that has contributed immeasurably to global history and culture.

This month, I want to take you on a personal journey, one that begins at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and travels all the way to New York. This journey is not just mine; it’s the essence of our store and the heart of our African Collection. Born and raised in Tanzania, under the watchful gaze of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and later moving to Kenya, my journey has been one of adaptation, learning, and growth. English, which I now use daily, is my third language, learned when I embraced my new life in Kenya at age 14. My heart speaks in Chagga and Kiswahili, languages that sing with the stories, customs, and heritage of my tribe and country.

In Tanzania, where Kiswahili connects us with its blend of tribal dialects and Arabic, I navigated my early education. These languages are more than tools for communication; they are the essence of my identity, the rhythm to my thoughts, and the perspective through which I view the world. Now, as I communicate with you in English, I bring with me the wisdom and rhythms of my first languages, echoing through the stories I share and the products I curate.

The African Collection at This and That Stores

In bringing the African Collection to you, I aim to bridge the gap between my personal heritage and the diverse community we serve in New York. Each piece, from handcrafted jewelry to bold textiles, tells a story of ancient craftsmanship, vibrant culture, and a legacy of strength and beauty that resonates deeply during Black History Month. By exploring this collection, you're not only discovering the artistic and cultural wealth of Africa but also supporting a narrative of empowerment and recognition that is critical to understanding our shared history.

As we celebrate this special month, I invite you to join me in reflecting on the journeys that have shaped us. Let's honor the diverse and rich cultures from around the world, recognizing the contributions and resilience of the African diaspora.

Visit This African Collection at This and That Stores to discover a world of beauty, craftsmanship, and tradition. Each purchase is not just an acquisition of a unique piece of art; it's an embrace of cultural heritage and a celebration of the diversity that enriches our world.

Thank you for being a part of our story at This and That Stores. Together, let's continue to celebrate the diversity and richness of cultures that shape our world.

 

Hadzabe Tribe