The Designer Exploring African Stories Through Traditional Fabrics
Makonde Chukwuke is a designer and artist based in Lagos, Nigeria. When he was younger he had a passion for traditional African crafts and became good friends with a woman, who is known as the “Bondi of Bondi”, for her passion for weaving. The bondi was known for her intricate handwork, which she would make for herself and her friends, usually with a small circle of friends, and each time the bondi would share how much she enjoyed the process of weaving. Each time she would go over, she would show him the finished product, proudly displaying her art, but each time, he was not impressed.
The bondi told him that she was doing it for the love of the craft and also to show off her talent, and he became even more interested. She would take him on the bondi’s sewing room so he could see her work firsthand and was amazed at the intricate artwork and the beautiful colors. She is a master weaver and she would teach him all about the weaving process. When he asked her why she was so proud of what she was doing, she told him she was proud to be making the work of her hands for other people, just like the bondi; she was proud to make her work and show it. She taught him that she was making something that was going to last him for the rest of his life and the bondi could not be happier.
The bondi would come over to Makunde’s home to have a coffee and to show him her work. She would weave and she would tell him that he should be proud for someone like him, who was from where they came from, would actually appreciate the work she was doing just like she was proud for him. This has continued to drive the bondi to stay in touch with her friend and this has inspired her to do even more work with Makunde and to teach him all she knows about African craft and art.
Every time she would visit Makunde, she would come into the kitchen to show him her work and her friend would join her. The bondi had always done the weaving of the fabric