04 July, 2011


a lady shopping at The Village Green

 “The beauty is in every woman’s blood”, said Noyenu Bana from Mahlathi, who sells traditional Xhosa attire. She said that unlike men, women go around looking and shopping nice things at the shops.
Woman: she carries a soul in her tummy for nine months; she gives life to a being, that’s why she is called a mother. A woman she is, because she places her hand on a man’s shoulder to comfort and give him strength. Yet the question remains as to, what makes a real woman? Apart from the hard work of raising children and the tears from the pain of being a single mom, what makes her happy?

Mama Noyenu makes beautiful traditional dresses.

Shopping is an answer to a woman’s prayer. They wear a smile from ear to ear the minute they walk into The Village Green. This is an open space where tents are located, for artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their talent and sell their products to tourists who have come to the festival in Grahamstown. It’s not a mall or a shopping centre, where one would find women rushing to the shops for a sale they have seen on paper, magazine or TV advertisement. That is the only place where women are normally having a difficult time in making a decision on what to buy and choosing the perfect colour for clothing. “No darling, take as much time as you want”, said a gentleman to a lady who was indecisive as to which scarf she needed to buy for they all look so nice and colourful.

Noyenu also offeres fashion tips to her customers 

“When uMama (mother) sees something she likes she wastes no time to pick it up”, Bana said. Maybe men will never understand why women are never troubled by spending hours trying to figure out what to purchase. Walking out of the tent you will notice a woman after the other having more than one plastic bag on her hand or the heaviness of the bag by time she walks out isn’t the same as the time she walked into The Village Green.

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