Long Beach Kenyan moving online to help villagers

Long Beach businesswoman Mumbi Kahenya. Photo by Chris MacDonald

The pandemic has forced longtime Long Beach African clothing store owner Loise “Mumbi” Kahenya to shutter her business and move online (www.MumbisDesigns.com).

For 14 years, the caring businesswoman has offered (in her former store at 215 Atlantic Aven.) much original, handcrafted African garb that she purchased from Kenyan villagers. She used sales to help her “Save African Families” charity provide food and education.

“The 501-C3 non-profit is connected to our friends in Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Harbour, Sunset Beach and elsewhere to support the purchase of food and supplies to help them survive, even during the pandemic,” said the Bahati, Kenyan native and Long Beach State Business Honors Graduate. “We recently provided food and virus protection for more than 200.”

She said since 2017, the Save African Families charity has helped more than 5,000 Kenyans with food supplies and other things.

Cabitha Mueni of Save African Families passing out food bags and masks in Meru, Kenya.. Courtesy photo

“It’s important to encourage others and always keep smiling! A smile is the beginning of understanding love and respect between people of all cultures,” she said. To help with the pandemic, her charity donates not only bags of food (such as potatoes, cabbage, other vegetables and corn, flour, cooking oil) but masks and pandemic tips (like social distancing).

Her late parents also donated land for a possible future school. “Our effort has been hit hard by the virus but we must continue to achieve our dreams.”

“No matter what, we must remain committed, caring, positive and inspire those around us,” said the woman from Western Kenya, who has also been active in Long Beach’s Sister City Program with Mombasa, Kenya.

In her online “store,” Mumbi offers both male and female, homemade Kenyan cotton outfits, clothing, wooden hand-carved figures, original native artwork and much more.

You can contact Mumbi at 562-901-0308; http://www.saveafricanfacilies.org or email saveafricanfamiliesorg@gmail.com.