Did you know that we deliver Mzansi Masks to countries all over the world? We’ve already completed orders to the United States, Australia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. We recently reached out to California-based customer, Alexander Matthews, to find out about his COVID-19 experience.
Words by Alexander Matthews
It does seem a little indulgent to be ordering masks all the way from South Africa when you live in California. And yet: I wanted to support a South African business and I also wanted to express my identity — as a proud, slightly homesick South African — with a “made in South Africa” mask, instead of wearing something boring and mass-produced in China.
This is what inspired me to go searching online for masks made in South Africa featuring shweshwe fabric. Mzansi Masks was one of the very few to come up. I reached out to find out if the masks could be couriered here. The answer was “Yes!”. This, plus the reasonable pricing made Mzansi Masks a great option.
We bought a bunch of masks, some for ourselves, and others to gift to friends in the USA. My favourites are the turquoise wave shweshwe and Afro firebird; both add a dash of South African flair when I wear them. It’s been so nice to be able to incorporate a brightly coloured reminder of my Southern African roots in my daily life.
I live in a rural part of Northern California, between two towns on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Our masks get worn daily on our visits to the beach (we have to walk through a campsite to get to the beach which is quite busy right now as it is summer here in the US). My husband and I also wear our Mzansi Masks on our weekly visit to the local farmers’ market, and on fortnightly visits to the big supermarket 90 minutes away. We love how comfortable and nicely fitted they are.
In the USA, public health regulations differ, depending on both the state and the county (local government) you’re in. In our county, mask-wearing is both ubiquitous and mandatory for people entering any kind of public space. In my experience, everyone has been willing to play their part in this and, since late March I can count on one finger the number of unmasked people I’ve seen in public places. Unfortunately, a notable exception to this is the campsite I mentioned earlier — where many of the holidaymakers don’t bother with wearing masks between their campsite and the beach.
As a writer covering a wide variety of subjects, thankfully I’m able to work remotely. With less demand for travel articles (which was once a reasonable chunk of my workload), though, I’m using the bit of extra time to expand into audio/podcasting. My first podcast series just dropped — take a listen! It’s called ARCHIPELAGO, and it features five island adventures for you to enjoy in your armchair. (You can find it wherever you listen to your podcasts.) I also send a monthly newsletter about culture, food, nature and other cool stuff to readers in both SA and the USA — you can sign up at alexandermatthews.substack.com.
As I’ve spent much of the last five years on the road, I’m kinda enjoying nesting — I’ve never cooked and baked so much in my life, and I’m even making my own biltong (told you I was a proud South African!). That said, I still love travel and I’m really looking forward to being able to do so again. The African bushveld is pretty much my favourite place, so I’m most excited about returning to Pafuri in Northern Kruger National Park— a magical land of ancient baobabs, fever tree forests (and some very angry elephants!).
Get your Mzansi Masks
Whether you’re locally based in South Africa or admiring our shweshwe prints from the other side of the globe, you can order your Mzansi Mask today. We offer incredible deals for bulk orders, making the purchase opportunity even more alluring.
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