My name is Charles Aluanga. I’m a 49 year old basket weaver. I weave using plastic materials carelessly thrown away by Eldoret Town mitumba traders. I’m talking of the materials used in wrapping mitumba bundles.
I was born and raised in Bunyore in Vihiga County . I came to Eldoret many years ago when I was still a teenager. Life was hard back then. I decided to try my luck here in Eldoret. After trying to do other manual works, I decided to weave because when I was young,my father used to weave baskets using reeds and tough grasses. He had trained me. I started weaving using these mitumba plastic materials. That was 19 years ago.
Last week, on Tuesday, the county government of Uasin Gishu relocated me to stall number 42 at Eldoret 64 municipal market. The town ganjos are the ones who picked me up and relocated me from the St Luke, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital junction, to this new area. I am happy that I am now housed and protected from bad weather. Even though I don’t pay anything here, I will greatly miss a lot of my customers because they don’t know where I am. I don’t own a phone. So they cannot reach out to me.When I was by the roadside my baskets were booked by customers even before I could finish weaving them. Now I will have to weave and set days to hawk the baskets.
I have a wife and 5 children who rely on me. I visit them every December on Christmas days. I don’t have several pairs of clothes. I use the same clothes for many years. I rarely bathe too because I am always busy. Because of my life style, many people think I am crazy. I thank the county government for giving me this stall because I will be sleeping here. I do not cook. I only buy food when I get hungry. I prefer tea and cake for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Charles. Eldoret 64 market.