Marlies Gabriel & MamaMomella

A fashion label from the foot of Mt Meru, Tanzania

Marlies Alpers Gabriel

- Namibian citizen

- German speaking

- permanent resident of Tanzania since 2000.

- studied interior decoration in Cape Town in 1994/5

- self taught in tourism since 1996

- hotel and lodge owner since 2003

- founder of the MomellaFoundation in 2007

- self taught textile and fashion designer since 2007

- project designer & coordinator of MamaMomella

- 5 tailors

- 10 Meru women


'Mama' is the respectful way to address a woman in the Swahili language. Yet, some in Tanzania are disadvantaged: they rarely go to school, and many of them are illiterate. In addition, the man is usually in charge of the family's income, even if the woman contributes to it. The women of Momella, as in many parts of Africa, are very strong, creative, and good at improvising. Our project aims at supporting their self-respect, self-confidence and self-esteem and therewith empowering them through more independence.

Presently, the women of MamaMomella are producing the following items: such as bedding materials, table cloths, pashminas, garments, as well as handicrafts made of Maasai beadwork and copper wire. The Mamas concentrate on embroidery work. The products are marketed at the MamaMomella - Hatari boutique, on the cat walk, at the Christmas markets, in a Zanzibar Stone Town boutique and through the internet.

The MamaMomella collection _ a list of retail distribution

  1. 1st MM collection: MamaMomella - Hatari boutique, Zanzibar boutique, African Kiwanda online shop:
  2. Modern Safari collection: MM-Hatari boutique, individual orders in Tanzania and abroad.
  3. Peacock collection: Kilimanjaro meets the Alps: MM-Hatari boutique, Christmas markets, individual orders in Tanzania and abroad.
  4. Yoga bags for Tanya Pergolla:
  5. Outfitting of the Hatari Lodge, Shu'mata Camp and Fishing camp at the Ruvuma River, Tanzania
  6. Outfitting safari companies with uniforms and textiles

Brigitte fashion shoot & editorial _ 2010

The Hatari Lodge at the foot of Mt Meru in Tanzania together with its very own women’s empowerment project ‘MamaMomella’ was featured in over 10 pages in the January 2010 edition of the well-know and bestselling women’s magazine in Germany, ’Brigitte’! This photo shoot was the most important press coverage for MamaMomella.

MamaMomella received 50+ orders from the ‘Brigitte’ readers for kanga shirts, kitenge skirts & dresses and handbags.