We now present the faces of the craftsmen who create objects out of soapstone in Tabaka. We wrote down their stories in 2013.
Sarah Otondi, 31
Sarah has four children. The eldest attends eighth grade. Her husband is also a stonemason. She learned the craft from him in 2001. She also has a farm that helps her to provide for her family. She attended secondary school, but couldn’t finish it. Thanks to the stonemasonry, she can send her children to school and has also built a house. Her grand plan is to give all her children an education and enlarge their business. One of the children has asthma and Sarah must often attend to the child.
George Osano, 38
George has four children. The eldest also attends eighth grade. George is a qualified primary school teacher, but he could not find work. He learned the stonemasonry trade when he was very young. His wife helps him with his job. George would like to continue his studies and would also like to provide his wife with an education, so that they could better provide for their family. There are a lot of stonemasons in Tabaka and that is why it is difficult to make a living with this profession.
Shem Omonyi, 36
Shem has five children. His wife is a farmer. He stopped going to school in seventh grade because his parents did not have enough money to pay his tuition fees. He learned the stonemasonry trade when he left school in 1995. This work allows him to provide for his family. With the money he received from ShineBean, he was able to set up a shop where his wife sells mandazi doughnuts.