Fascination with colour and African fabric

Beverly Nambozo says bold colours and African print is her favourite fabric. Photos by Racheal Ajwang

What you need to know:

Inside your spaces. You can choose an African theme for your home décor to bring out uniqueness. But make them as colourful and possible.

Beverly Nambozo’s living room serves a number of purposes. It has a quaint and large dining table where her family enjoys meals, the children do homework, sit for family prayers and keep their favourite reading books. The living room is also large enough to serve as an exercising space, which she does regularly with her daughters. Guests, too, can comfortably be hosted.
Colourful is the one word Nambozo uses to describe her home. The poet is particular about her colours whether it has to do with her outfits or her home surroundings. A lover of African crafts, your eye is bound to meet a craft at every angle in her home.
“I wear bold colours; those of fire. Green is one of my favourites. For the home, I opt for a mix of earth, rainbow and soft colours depending on the room or occasion. For children, brighter is better. Colour influences the mood of an occasion. For weddings, sparkling colours are suitable and celebratory,” she says.
Being dynamic is key when it comes to colour according to Nambozo. The trick she reveals is in having a wide collection of temporary decorative pieces, in her case, fabric has come in handy.
“I get items which are easily removable, so that I can change my colours frequently. For instance, kitenge or kikuyu blankets work well to cover sofa. I can replace them every so often depending on the mood and demands of the occasion. I can go from vibrant to subtle in case of children for the former and particular visitors for the latter,” she says.
She advises that one needs to go to a good market to buy authentic African fabric as the uptown markets may be expensive and not offer a good quality.
“I get my fabrics from Nigerian friends as gifts and also when I got to Kenya, I visit the Masai market and stock a variety of them,” she says. There are also different markets that sell crafts in different parts of Uganda where one can get colourful fabric and house décor.

Prized book shelf
Nambozo’s bookshelf has books and a collection of her husbands, plus poetry from the Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation. The composition of her shelf also has poetry from the 18th Century to contemporary poets from all over the world, children’s story books mainly by African writers, fashion magazines, literary blogs and news blogs, books that have either won or been shortlisted for major prizes, short story anthologies and Christian blogs.

The poet constantly rearranges her shelf and keeps labelling boxes with children’s books. She maintains what she describes as an ‘overflowing’ shelf. “There are too many books for the bookshelf, which means that the bookshelf is currently unable to accommodate the increasing purchase of books,” she explains.

She introduces reading to her children while they are still in the womb. “I begin reading to them early. I also have a programme called Babishai Poetricks which is a creative toolkit that trains in creative reading, writing, speaking and listening. The target is four to 12 years old and at least once every two months,” she adds.

Under the programme, 26 children have been trained using eleven adventures, raising their levels of confidence, creative literacy, team-building, reading and composing poetry. She adds they have compiled the poems which we shall publish and launch in a children’s poetry anthology which will be launched during the Babishai Poetry Festival to take place from August 24 to 26.

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