The March meeting of the flower club was a real change with our demonstrator originating from Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia). Her Grandfather had run the mission set up by David Livingstone and her father was a teacher there. However he decided after marrying that he would move to the town and become a bus driver. Because he was an intelligent man he progressed in the bus company and became a manager.
He lived in a select area where there were gardens with lots of flowers. Her mother was keen to learn about growing flowers and went on to have a lovely garden. This gave Namiye a love of flowers which is still very strong and dominates all she does. Her mother encouraged her to help with arrangements for the table and she became an arranger of flowers for her church. They had no flower shop in the town so took flowers from the gardens. She recounted that on her arrival in London she cried when she saw the flower choice in the supermarket because it frightened her. She later moved to Manchester and restarted her flower arranging.
She had never used "oasis" to hold flowers and was helped by a German lady so learned continental ideas. She has been living in Manchester now for 12 years and has really moved forward from arranging church flowers again, to doing a floristry course (following a trip to Tatton flower show) to taking a demonstrators course and passing that last year.
She asked that her designs were not photographed in full so the photographs may look a little odd. She did 2 designs using no foliage which were interesting . The rest of her designs had large foliage with palms of various kinds, fatsia leaves and aspidistra leaves. She loved bright colours and said how she had found it miserable, on her arrival in Britain during the winter to see everyone wearing black , grey and beige colours.
Her flower boxes were all covered with lovely bright cottons and two of her containers had typical African covers. She wore an African turban with a matching bracelet. The containers were also tied in with her roots with several basket and banana leaves covering a frame.
Another interest was music and Namiye sang in a gospel choir. As background to the final design we heard the Lord's Prayer sung in Swahili.
Her title " A Journey's Tale" was from the saying that life is not a destination but a journey. She made us realise what a journey she had made and she entertained us so well with her stories of her childhood and life. The 6 designs were all superb and different. A wonderful evening.