While sewing in Papua New Guinea is considered a task for mostly women folk, a few men in Simbu Province are changing that stereotype.
In front of the Simbu Haus Klos in Kundiawa town you will find a line of men sewing with Singer Manual Sewing Machines.
For locals, it is a common sight, but for those who are new in town it is quite a n interesting and somewhat refreshing sight to see, nearly all men behind a sewing machine.
Naps Fada from Gumine District in the Simbu Province has been siting in front of the Simbu Haus Klos for the last 8 years doing what most men wouldn’t normally be doing.
“When I was a small boy my mother sewed for a living and would show me how to sew. After I finished school and came back home I sewed,” Naps Fada said.
He also fixes sewing machines and charges K50.00 for what he sews. He also buys clothing from the secondhand and alters them to attract customers. He mends ripped or torn clothing at the cost of K2.00 to K10.00 depending on the size of what he has to mend.
“I make K300 in a week if I’m lucky, but what I make is enough to sustain my family.”
Naps Fada has 6 children, 2 of his children were with him when I spoke to him.
Peter & John
Twenty-five year old Peter Kumulgu, from Gumine, and John Andis, from Gembolg, were busy sewing seat covers for cars.
Peter attended the Kundiawa vocational school, “I attended a short course so I could learn how to sew,” he said.
John on the other hand learned the trade from his father, “My father taught me how to sew, I have been sewing for six years now to make a living and sit here sewing seat covers and other pieces.”
They both are business partners, so whilst one sews the other sells their pieces and they take turns doing either job.
Some of the pieces that sell out quickly are their Jean trousers which they alter to create skirts and seat covers.
All three men bought sewing machines that were thrown out and fixed them to begin their sewing businesses.