The Wonders of the Serenget(i)ee

Yes, you read that right. No, your eyes are not deceiving you and that is not a typo. I did intentionally spell Serengetee with two e’s because Serengeti and Serengetee are two very different things.

On the one hand we have The Serengeti. A gorgeous, simply indescribable beauty that lies at the (northern) heart of Tanzania, a country in Eastern Africa. An ecosystem unlike any other that houses the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world (that I have been lucky enough to witness with my own eyes) making it one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. The Serengeti hosts an astounding 70 large mammal species that includes wildebeests, zebras, buffalos, lions and many more. The Serengeti is also home to an incredible 500 bird species. All of which could not be possible without the luscious grasslands, woodlands, riverine forests, and swamps. As someone who has traveled to Tanzania and Kenya to witness the beauty of African Safari, I could tell you about our trip to the Ngorongoro Crater (which is rumoured to be the collision site of the comet that took out the dinosaurs), or the hot air balloon ride we took over The Serengeti National Park that ended in a picnic right in the middle of lion territory, or even about the hotels we stayed at that cautioned us from stepping outside our rooms because a leopard had claimed the area as its territory. Of course, if you’ve read my post Maisha: Swahili for Survival, than you have already read about the moment I witnessed an Impala give birth in the middle of the wide open Plains and so, have caught just a tiny glimpse of what the African Safari has to offer. However, this post is about the other Serengetee.

Serengetee. Do you notice the play on words? Probably not since I haven’t even told you what it is. Allow me to virtually introduce you to two incredibly creative, selfless guys with a passion for giving back. Jeff and Ryan. College friends. These two met on a Semester at Sea back in 2012 (and although I haven’t personally met them), they have impacted many people, including myself, in many ways. While traveling the world aboard a cruise ship making occasional stops along the way, Jeff and Ryan visited markets collecting fabrics from countries in Africa, Asia, and Central America. With a goal of changing the world, they used these fabrics to incite change, not only by being the first clothing brand centered around fabric but by donating back to the very artisans that created the wonderful fabrics.

With zero fashion experience, we used the last pennies in our pockets and started cutting, sewing, and shipping pocket tees from our dorm room

And alas, Serengetee was born. An American clothing brand centered around grassroots causes. 10% of profits returning to the communities and artisans from which fabric a customer chooses to buy. Purchasing a Hubballi Pocket from India, you are providing clean drinking water to at-risk communities. Purchasing a Bristol Pocket from London, you are fighting against human trafficking that occurs all across Europe. Purchasing a Sunyani Pocket from Ghana, you are providing top-notch medical care to women there.

As you can see, Serengetee is all about providing opportunities for its customers to give back to causes they might not have known existed. Why would they stop there? They don’t. If you love this brand as much as I do (my closet is practically all Serengetee), then you’ll be content to know that they invite a select few from all around the globe to become a member of the Serengetee team as brand representatives. Using their ‘Getee Gear, these reps promote the brand and the very grassroots causes they stand behind in hopes of spreading the word one fabric at a time. Not only is this great for the brand, and as a result the grassroots causes, but Serengetee reps participate in challenges and games set up by the Serengetee team to keep things interesting. I’ve even seen ‘Getee reps form lasting friendships with other reps they met during this opportunity.

As a Serengetee rep myself, I have greater admiration for this brand than I did when I was merely just a customer. The first shirts I ever purchased were a Bulawayo Pocket Tee and their, now incredibly popular, Wear The World Printed Tee. Years after my first purchase (and many, many more purchases), I applied out of a whim to become a Serengetee rep and to my surprise, I was chosen. I was incredibly lucky to be chosen to represent a brand that I support and have been a fan of for many years. The opportunity to showcase the brand to my family, my friends, my classmates, my neighbors, and even complete strangers who have peered onto my social media accounts, was truly a blessing. As someone who wishes to make an impact on the world and incite change, but have no idea where to start, this was a marvelous starting point. As a rather shy person, being a rep also gave me the opportunity to travel outside my comfort zone and become active within my community to help spread the word of such a great cause.

To the Serengetee team (who may or may not be reading this), I thank you for this wonderful opportunity to represent you and your brand. My only wish is that you will allow me to return for another semester as a rep.

Much love,

The Bear

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