In Africa, homemade galimotos are fashioned by children out of anything from sticks to cornstalks, and can be vehicles of any sort. This ingeniously crafted “galimoto” push-toy bicycle rider is created from shaped wire wrapped around fabric by artisans of the Chuma Wires workshop based in the Dandora area of Nairobi, Kenya. Chuma Wires provides valuable work for artisans who have little or no other opportunities for employment in this marginal section of Kenya’s sprawling capital.
In 1995 Claytone Ombasyi, a Christian businessman in Nairobi, Kenya, started OTIC, a privately held export and marketing company. Ombasyi, with professional experience in exporting and marketing, wanted to help local artisans connect with export markets. He operates his business with the utmost integrity and expects the same of others, encouraging artisans to consider their products a reflection of themselves and to use the products to share their vision with customers. OTIC provides export, packaging and quality control support for a number of small workshops in and around Nairobi. Depending on their circumstances, these small groups provide a variety of advantages to their artisans. Some offer training in wood carving, while others provide short–term, no interest loans.