Mombasa,KENYA: In the past ,colorful free light cottoned dresses locally known as Madera were mostly associated with the Swahili people in the coastal regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Nowadays, fashion has taken a paradigm shift as the dresses are now becoming an essential for women not only in the coastal region but also in other regions in the country.
The dresses which come in different sizes, colors and shapes are mostly sold in Marikiti market in Mombasa County both in retail and in bulk and they are now a fast moving commodity . Prices range from sh 300 to sh 1200 depending on many factors among them the fabric quality.
Dorothy Akolo is a resident of Bamburi who purchases them in Bulk at Marikiti market every month and later reselling to her clients in both Mombasa and Nairobi and she says that most women in the country have drastically changed their dressing mode especially during weekends.
“If take a look around and you will notice that most women prefer wearing deras during weekends other than the usual shorts, and sweatpants. They look beautiful because the dress is long and very presentable”. She says.
Halima Abdullahi is a prominent business woman who owns a large boutique in Marikiti market Clad in a yellow stripped dera and a head wrapper over her head, she says she only stocks khanga’s and deras she also says that her sales have improved drastically in the past one year due to the high demand of the dresses.
“This is 13th year in business, and i have more than 20 varieties of deras and the demand is very high and I also supply to some of the shops over here. I don’t know what caused the shift in fashion but am glad that unlike in the past, they are really moving fast”. Said Halima.
Abedi Omar, is also another trader , who says that that during the festive seasons , the demand is very high and stock outs are very common.