Nice to hear of more craftwork being made in Labasa. There are many skilled women, even old women, who sew, plait, weave, and make all kinds of craftwork with reeds, leaves, bamboo, cloth. Here is a story of an elderly woman - eighty years old - who makes quilts. Even though we quibble that the Fiji media are writing soft stories nearly all the time, at least there are little stories from Labasa quite often.
From Fiji Sun:
Tamani loves her work 10/27/2010
Age is no barrier for 80-year-old Sokoveti Tamani, who is passionate about sewing and singing. She is the face behind the neatly sewn patch quilts of many designs displayed at the Salvation Army hall in Labasa. For Mrs Tamani, producing the best at anything means hard work, sacrifice, patience and endurance.
Originally from Namuka Village in Bau, Mrs Tamani, who moved to Vanua Levu more than 20 years ago, has made Labasa her home.
Her love for sewing has earned her a trade name in the North where she sells her creations to earn a living. Mrs Tamani, who has seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, says that life must go on despite the daily struggles. “My husband died 15 years ago and I have to fend for myself with the support of my children,” Mrs Tamani said. “Like any other person, I want to be independent. By selling what I sew I am able to provide for my other needs.”
Mrs Tamani is the oldest member of the Home League Women’s Programme, which is administered by the Salvation Army for unemployed women and single mothers. As a business, Mrs Tamani sells a variety of matching pillow cases and bedspreads, cushion covers, patch quilts, to name a few. Even though it takes time to artistically sew the pieces together, the 80-year-old does a great job skilfully.
“I love sewing and singing. Wherever my late husband was posted for work, I would join the local church choir and women’s clubs,” she said. “It is better for women to be involved in income-generating projects rather than staying at home idle. What keeps me fit is my trust and obedience to God. He gives me the strength to do what I am doing and I will not rest until I am too weak to carry on,” she said.