Martin Luther King Jr once proclaimed, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?” So, how are your honoring MLK Jr and his legacy? Twenty-seven years ago President Reagan signed MLK Jr Day into existence and catapulted a ‘can do’ and ‘will help’ attitude into the American radar. This willingness to lend a hand has been celebrated in South Africa for many decades, centuries even. Ubuntu is the idea that we are all interconnected and what happens to you happens to me. Desmond Tutu defined it as when a human knows “that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated… the essence of being human.” We can’t live without each other and we need to help one another out.
The idea of generosity and the call to serve has struck a special chord in Tadatoshi Akiba’s heart (Mayor of Hiroshima from 1999-2011). He loved the call to action so much that he declared MLK Jr Day a holiday. This really is a global celebration. How will your honor MLK Jr? Share with us on Facebook. Remember every day can be a day of service to your community.
Check out Tea School Days- a no brainer to raise money for your child’s school.
Vilakazi Street- where Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu lived.
Here’s a history lesson that not only is short and sweet but fun to say. We bet you didn’t know that our Vilakazi Henley was named after the only street to once have housed two Nobel Prize winners. Nelson Mandela, one of the most famous anti-apartheid activists and President of South Africa, lived at 8115 Vilakazi. Mandela’s former home is now the Mandela House- a museum that preserves his story as he fought for equality. Just down the street, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu still lives with his wife. Desmond as he is fondly known aided to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. During his quest to bring the fall of apartheid, he coined the term ‘Rainbow Nation,’ when speaking about his beloved South Africa and its ethnic diversity. It is said that Desmond can still be seen strolling down Vilakazi.
Our designers were so inspired by their trip to Vilakazi Street that they wanted to share it with you. Bring a piece of our experience home with you, shop from our boys’ tees.
Step 1: Start beading your safety pins. We put 5 seed beads (size 6/0) onto each small safety pin. As you are beading start to envision a desirable pattern or make it completely random for a kaleidoscope effect.
*Please note since sharp objects are involved, this craft is for children 8 years and up.
Step 2: Make sure you use needle nose pliers to clamp each safety pin permanently closed. No booboos here!
Step 3: Cut two pieces of elastic 5 inches longer than the circumference of your child’s wrist.
Step 4: Tie a knot with the two pieces of elastic. Start stringing your safety pins in the desirable pattern. We did all the tops on the top string and all the bottoms on the other.
Step 5: When you are done beading, tie a knot on each elastic cord (top and bottom separately). Then knot with the other side to create a full circle.
Wear our Rosebank Mini Dress and Mtititi Floral Tunic Top withyour safety pin bracelet.
Wear your safety pin bracelet with any of our girls dresses or girls tops. We really liked how the yellow beads complimented the yellow accents in our Rosebank Mini Dress. Get creative with your bracelet patterns and girls outfits and share with us on our Facebook.
Our cozy boys’ hoodie was named after Chester Williams who was famously dubbed ‘The Black Pearl.’ During the 1995 Rugby World Cup games, Chester was the only black player on the Springbok Team from South Africa. He became the poster boy (literally) of the end of apartheid in South Africa; his face was plastered on the sides of planes and on billboards. Many South African children idolized him which eventually helped bring an end to the racial injustice in South Africa. If you are curious about Chester and the rest of the Springboks, watch Invictus.
Nceka cloth from our South Africa inspiration trip.
On our trip to the Limpopo Region, our designers were struck by the beautiful beading and embroidery on Nceka cloths. The Nceka cloth is a traditional cloth worn over the upper body by Tsonga and Shangaan women. Oftentimes it is an indigo dyed fabric embellished with beads and safety pins by the wearer herself. Intricately embroidered Nceka cloths are saved for special occasions like weddings.
We loved the colorful and unique detail of Nceka cloths so much that we created the Mtititi Floral Tunic. You can bring home a piece of South Africa too from our girls’ tops! The over-dyed floral indigo fabric is embellished to look like the beads from traditional Nceka cloths.
Our Mtititi Floral Tunic inspired by the Nceka cloth.
Watch the Mtititi Magic video to see beading in action and learn about how Mtititi has changed the lives of women in the Limpopo Region. Video courtesy of WatchKubasa via Youtube.
Let us take you along for the trip with us as we explore destination South Africa with crayons! The map below shows some of our favorite areas in South Africa as well as gives a hint of what the future activity book pages will look like. Explore the map & then explore your creativity and color in your favorite South Africa regions.
Once you’re done coloring, submit your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win! Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!
The photos above are from our children’s clothes designers’ cameras. Whenever they travel abroad for inspiration, they take many, many photos which they later use to reflect upon when developing patterns and graphics for each collection. The two outfits are available for sale now. Check out girls new arrivals and boys new arrivals at www.teacollection.com.
Springtime finds us in the land where 11 official languages mingle and where the spirit of ubuntu thrives. Ubuntu means “I am what I am because of who we all are.” For us, it’s about respect, compassion and community- and also about prints, patterns, beans and embroidery.
Share with us below, have you ever traveled to South Africa? What’s your favorite part about our new destination?