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Guenette KEBEDE “An Ethiopian in Paris”
BlackMap: A little presentation for our Internet users?

Guenette: My name is Guenette, it’s my little name at the same time as my first name. I am from Ethiopia in the Wolo region.


BlackMap: How did you get the idea to create this space?

Guenette: In fact, I had dreamed of it for a long time. I wanted to open a restaurant for a while, but I realized that it required a lot of time and resources. However, I did not want to give up. For seven years now, I have started to present and sell my objects or my creations, which represent a mixture of ancient and modern Africa, in different fairs or exhibitions. When people walk into my shop, I hear a few saying, “Is this really Africa? Is it really Ethiopian? “. For me, it’s just a place where people can come and see my designs, and that makes me happy!

BlackMap: How do you qualify this place?

Guenette: It’s a shop open to everyone! It’s at home, at Guenette’s because I imagined everything here. My friends can come there for tea or coffee. It is also a cultural space, of exchanges and meetings. It’s simply Guenette!

BlackMap: How do you choose the objects?

Guenette: I started at the beginning by painting scarves, scarves with colors and designs inspired by tattoos of women or patterns of Ethiopian daily life, this in order to satisfy both Moroccan women, mixed race, African or West Indian . I then had a lot of requests for dresses, shirts, “Rasta” hats, which led me to design and draw models under the “Signes Nomades” brand. Lalibela storeThere are also traditional Ethiopian crosses, necklaces, jewelry, drawings, paintings, traditional basket makers and handicrafts from Ethiopia, South Africa and Asia. In fact, all of the objects here have a story for those who know it.

BlackMap: Are we talking about “Nomadic Signs”?

Guenette: “Nomadic Signs”! I like it a lot, because I feel like a nomad myself. I was born in the countryside, I lived in the countryside, in the Region of Wolo. Then I arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, then I came here to France at a difficult time for African women. Since then, I travel and run a lot. “Nomadic Signs” is my invention.

BlackMap: The last word?

Guenette: I officially opened my store on October 8, 2002. This is my lucky number with 5. I also wanted to thank you for coming. Thank you for what you do, that also encourages us to continue. All my encouragement to your business!

Guenette KEBEDE

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