Meet Kenyan Turning Banana Waste into Hair Extensions in Uganda

  • A worker at TEXFAD LTD cuts down a banana stem that will be processed and used for different purposes like making rugs
    A worker at TEXFAD LTD cuts down a banana stem that will be processed and used for different purposes like making rugs
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  • Kimani Muturi moved to Uganda in 2000 to work as a lecturer at the Institute of Teacher Education Kyambogo in Kampala

    He founded TEXFAD in 2012 providing many opportunities for the youth and women for the eight years the company has been in operation. 

    Muturi has turned banana waste into hand-woven textiles such as rugs and textiles, and also hair extensions.  

    Muturi’s company deals with the production of hand woven textiles by turning banana waste into Rugs, fabrics and hair extensions.
    Muturi’s company deals with the production of hand woven textiles by turning banana waste into Rugs, fabrics and hair extensions.
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    In addition, Muturi offers services in tailoring, hairdressing and banana fibre extraction and application.

    In order to extract the fibre, workers first cut the banana stems into celery-like chunks then dry them in the sun.

    After the drying process is done, the chunks are passed through a machine for extraction and then they are dried again until they feel silky.

    The dried yarn after being dried can be dyed and then be used for different purposes like making rugs.

    " I can not finish the using the waste that is out there. It is just too much. I will never get worried that I will not have materials tomorrow as far as we are eating bananas on a daily basis," Muturi said in an earlier interview.

    As of February 2021, the company had 23 employees and also ran an internship program for students.

    Before founding the company, Muturi was the managing director at Afribanana Products Ltd which is a leading non-profit making Agribusiness incubator in Uganda.

    Since moving to Uganda, Muturi who is a graduate of Kenyatta University has worked as a lecturer at the Makerere University and Kyambogo University.

    While in Kenya, he taught at Mbita High School from 1995 to 1997 before he moved to Kapropita Girls High School in Kabarnet where he worked until 1999.

    Banana textiles textile have been around in countries like Japan, Nepal and the Philippines but due to lack of required equipment and skills, the art is yet to be fully embraced in East Africa.

    Products made using banana waste at TEXFAD LTD in Uganda
    Products made using banana waste at TEXFAD LTD in Uganda
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