The way to recognize true craftsmanship is that such individuals are true to their creative ability, regardless of what is available to them – even if it is ‘waste’. An indigenous company that exemplifies this concept is Mitimeth, an Ibadan-based social enterprise that produces handcrafted home decor and fashion accessories from processed aquatic weeds and other
The way to recognize true craftsmanship is that such individuals are true to their creative ability, regardless of what is available to them – even if it is ‘waste’. An indigenous company that exemplifies this concept is Mitimeth, an Ibadan-based social enterprise that produces handcrafted home decor and fashion accessories from processed aquatic weeds and other non-timber resources prevalent in Nigeria.
Achenyo Idachaba is the founder and Creative director of Mitimeth; and with her team, she has grown an enterprise that is solving a major environmental problem, especially for the residents of riverine communities. These ones have always had to contend with the invasive water weed – hyacinth, that they have dubbed ‘Gbeborun’ for its invasiveness into their lives. Their up-cycled water weed also constitutes raw material for local weaving communities in the Northern states.
The helpful impacts of Achenyo’s social enterprise are many to the ecosystem, which is otherwise stifled by the nuisance weed. Here’s how – the nutrients in the water get depleted by these weeds and fishes have less to survive on, plus it habitually covers a large portion of the water body, impeding the access of fishermen to aquatic life.
Mitimeth products include unique, handcrafted multipurpose baskets, lamps, vases, ottomans, mirrors, and coasters. They have progressed into complementing their loom-woven, up-cycled water hyacinth with leather and local fabrics to design afrocentric handbags and accessories.
The worthy achievements of the Mitimeth team, especially for the environment has attracted global attention and commendation. Ms. Idachaba was the nominated laureate for sub-Saharan Africa in the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award 2014. Her inspiring entrepreneurial story has been featured on CNN African Startup, CNBC Africa, and TEDTalks among others.
The Mitimeth team is committed to training and educating local communities – especially those in Nigeria’s riverine areas, on how to harvest and process the water weed into useful rope for weaving beautiful products. They do this with support from government and corporate bodies, empowering the women and youth with ideas for a business they can start right where they are.
In Achenyo’s words, “We help them to see the invasive weed through a different lens in terms of this could actually become a source of livelihood.. After we assist them with basic training, the rest is left up to their own creativity and we see them use the skills they have acquired to turn them into products that we’ve never even mentioned.”3 comments
AchenyoSeptember 24, 2015, 2:54 pm
Thanks for the feature on MitiMeth. Much appreciated.REPLY
Adegoke Oyeniyi@AchenyoSeptember 29, 2015, 7:31 am
You are welcome.REPLY
AndrietteJanuary 22, 2016, 9:47 pm
How could I see if I could make a product out of your product?REPLY
Great work … Love women we think so sensibly and creatively.
Let me know how I can get in touch with you.