In July of 2017 I had my Kenyan traditional wedding. I planned it with help from a wedding planner, which made things a little easier. However, this is blog not about that. This is about the unsung heroes that are the neighborhood tailors, locally known as fundis!
To catch you up, we had gotten all the groomsmen, grooms, and father of the groom’s clothes custom made by a very talented designer from Kenya. I had never met the guy but he came highly recommended and I must say, his embroidery work was good! We had to take measurements while in the USA and send them over Whatsapp for the designer to work his magic. The first impression was good, the clothes were on time and the quality of work was remarkable.
Between the miscommunications and our inability to take measurements correctly, I would say we were ill equipped to take on the task and of course, the clothes didn’t fit quite right – we didn’t find this out until the morning of the wedding. The only person who was actually measured by the designer was my brother, so his outfit was a perfect fit. You can imagine the panic that ensued. We were in a really remote area of the North Coast of Kenya. The designer of my dress was still on her way over and she wouldn’t be bringing her machine to the wedding, obviously!
My fast thinking planner asked the staff if they knew any fundis in the area. After a few phone calls and price negotiations, the men’s outfits were off to be adjusted. I had cast all caution to the wind at this point. The choice was impossible, do I make the men march down the aisle with super tight linen clothes that would definitely give in to the pressures of the day, or take a chance with an untested tailor not to completely ruin the clothes all together.
Thank goodness it paid off! The clothes came back and they fit…better. The allowance made by the original designer had been just enough to give the illusion of a good fit for the men. We were able to get married, again, without any further wardrobe mishaps. So here’s to the fundis, the unsung heroes! Always there for you in a wardrobe emergency. Most neighborhoods have one, every neighborhood needs one.