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Go vintage with enamel crockery

By Wangeci Kanyeki | May 5th 2016
Kenyan Steel enamel coated crockery are durable and shatterproof and will give you years of enjoyment and remind you of gone days. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

I visited my grandmother’s hut in the countryside and was greeted by a pot on a three-stone fireplace filled with githeri (maize and beans) and potatoes buried in the ash for a slow roast.

Once the food was ready, it was served in steel enamel coated plates painted in various tropical bright and bold colours such as red and yellow. Serving porridge or tea in these cups left a smoky aftertaste due to the smoke from the firewood.

In the name of modernisation, we have equipped our kitchens with Western and Asian crockery and forsaken our own tableware. Local crockery is simple and vintage and can be incorporated back into our current lifestyle.

Distinguish your enamel crockery by personalising or customising it to suit the rest of your decor. Children’s mugs and plates could have hand-printed animals or cheerful and whimsical characters on them.

Provide a different colour mug for each child so that they take ownership of it and take responsibility for removing it from the table and cleaning it thereafter.

For an eclectic effect, purchase different colours and mix and match dining sets of metallic cups, plates and casserole or serving bowls. Alternatively, if you prefer a perfect setting, then you could have one colour for all your enamel crockery for a sense of uniformity.


The advantage of these crockery is that they are durable enough for everyday use and provide years of enjoyment. They are also shatterproof, making them usable for children at home or usable at kindergartens and can be suitable for busy centres such as feeding construction workers.

If dropped or handled incorrectly, the paint on the cup may chip but will not affect its usefulness. Invest in Kenyan vintage crockery because it is not just their appearance that reminds us of bygone days, but they are generally affordable.

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