Zimbabwean artisan makes his way to Santa Fe

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A Zimbabwean man, whose attempt to get to the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe was documented in a 2012 film, is finally selling handwoven baskets this weekend.

It’s been a long journey to the market for Matabbeki Mudenda to sell baskets from his region of Zimbabwe. It took a day and a half traveling by vehicle and plane, but the journey actually started five years ago.

He set his sights on selling baskets in Santa Fe five years ago during the filming of the award-winning documentary “From Zimbabwe to Santa Fe.”

“That’s when I came to know there was somewhere called Santa Fe elsewhere in the world,” Mudenda told News 13 this week.

“From Zimbabwe to Santa Fe” tells the story of traditional basket makers trying to improve their economic standing by selling their goods in the U.S.

Mudenda finally got the papers to travel to market this year. He borrowed $3,000 from people in his community to ship all of the baskets to the U.S. Mudenda says he’s hoping to bring home a big profit to help women pay for their kids’ schooling.

“It’s very important for this, for me to be here, for more people to get educated,” Mudenda said.

He’s one of 150 artisans from 62 countries this year at the world’s largest folk art market, which is dedicated to helping artisans start their own businesses. Bangladesh is represented for the first time.

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