• Stephen Osieyo

NOT EVERYTHING THAT FLOWS OUT OF LOLWE IS WATER

Updated: Jan 14, 2021


Since the dawn of prehistoric times, humans always had the need to distinguish themselves among others. Clothes, shoes, tools, jewellery and cosmetics were the first of the ways this was done. Lipsticks and facial paints were one of the most noticeable ways to change our appearance.

Here are five of the ones that went flowing down the river Nile to the rest of the world and their annual impact on world economy today in US$.

1. NAIL POLISH ($15.55BILLION) 

Nail polish was popularized by the African slaves in the Ottoman Empire of 1200 AD. The slaves in the harem to avoid embarrassing the master would paint their nails red to indicate unavailability.


Nail polish was invented in the Nile valley at about 3000BC. It was used to signify class rankings. The lower class often wore nude and light colors. It is only in Ottoman Empire in 1200 AD that black slave concubines used it to show unavailability to avoid embarrassing the master that it took a different dimension and became trend between the concubines in the harem. The promoted concubines continued adorning it and it became a fashion.


Within Egypt it must have flown down the Nile due to persistent bright colors. That would explain the fact that it found its way to the Ottoman Empire without direct link between the two regions in African slave trade.

2. TAMPONS ($46 BILLION)

The oldest printed medical document refers to the use of soft papyrus tampons by Egyptian women in the 15th Century. Other civilizations used all sorts of paraphernalia and mayekeyeke.

Tampons first reared its head in ancient Egyptian empire after flowing down the Nile. Up the Nile nearer Nam Lolwe tampons adopted slowly, strutting around from river Nile reeds hence its Dholuo name oboke.

3. LIPSTICK ($17.1 BILLION)

Apart from its use as wartime camouflaging and military fatigues by men, lipstick had not been used in its present trend until 3000 BC in the Nile Valley. And in Egypt it was entrenched by the great Cleopatra.


Manufacture of lipsticks is an ancient art that received several upgrades in the last few centuries, but the formula remains the same as it was on the Nile valley.

4. CONDOMS ($15.10 BILLION)

Condoms have come a long way in the last 3000 years. The first recorded condoms were used 1000 BC in Egypt with the slave girls. The responsibility of wearing a condom was the woman’s otherwise she gets pregnant. And who wants a pregnant house girl. As the main chic saw its value of staying chic, it became trendy. Another development flowing down the river Nile.

5. IRRIGATION ($52 BILLION)

The earliest known systems of Irrigation began in 6000 BC in Egypt. The first major irrigation project was created under King Menes of Egypt not only to harvest the water but also the rich silt from the hinterland Africa.


The market worth of Irrigation Industry:

  • .Micro and Mechanized $33.4 billion

  • ·Micro Irrigation System $12 billion

  • ·Drip Irrigation market 6.54 billion

  • ·Irrigation Controllers Market $1,186 million.


 

WHAT ELSE WENT DOWN THE RIVER: How ancient is Dholuo?


 


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