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Chic Contemporary Batik Cushion Collection by Tonga Textiles

I am loving this chic collection of contemporary batik cushions on Mbare, whom I have featured previously. Created by Tonga Textiles a Zimbabwean textile company the collection features stylized geometric shapes and patterns in a modern colour palette. Created from 100% cotton the designs are produced using a resist painted dye technique. Sadza* is used to hand paint the patterns on the fabric, which is left to dry. Once dry paint is applied and then the fabric is baked in an oven to fix the colours. Once dried the sadza is removed revealing the finished textiles. The mix and match […]

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Simply Stylish Baskets Handwoven in Ghana

While catching up on the latest international tradeshows I came across some simple elegant baskets by Twenty One Tonnes an online retailer that seeks to celebrate the beauty of global craft by working with artisans around the world to create beautifully-crafted home decor collections and. The baskets are beautiful and sophisticated in their simplicity, using size, the colour of the material, and the woven patterns to give them character.

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Artist Dozie Kanu Intersecting Art and Design

Dozie Kanu is a Nigerian-American artist and designer who practice intersects art and design. The son of Nigerian immigrant parents Dozie was born in the US, and currently lives and works in Portugal and New York City. These multi-cultural experiences inform his creative expression and the stories he tells through the object he creates. His inspirations draw on the streets and environment where he grew up in Texas, and the traditions of African craftsmanship.

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Designer Masks to Keep You Safe and Fashionable

To say it’s been an ‘interesting’ few months would be a gross understatement as life as we know it has been turned on its head. And oh how quickly we adapt. Now I don’t think twice now about grabbing a mask and a pair of gloves before heading out for essential reasons. With some countries starting to ease their imposed lockdown restrictions it has become increasingly clear we are not safe yet and that masks are going to be an essential everyday accessory for some months if not years to come.

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Tanzanian Visual Artist Happy Chikoyo Robert Capturing the Essence of Womanhood

While browsing LinkedIn I came across a post highlighting the work of Happy Chikoyo Robert, a Tanzanian female visual artist. Happy who lives and works in Dar es salaam was born in Songe, the southern part of Tanzania. Her interest in art began early in her life by working with beads and creating drawings. Her work focuses on capturing the female form and essence; and expressing their feelings and beauty. An emerging artist hailed as one to watch. Happy is quietly building a name for herself developing her art skills and experience under the mentorship of fellow Tanzanian artist Haji […]

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5 Chefs Bringing The Flavours of West African Cuisine to International Foodies

Africa has yet to make a permanent mark on international cuisine. Pop up experiences and cookbooks like The Groundnut Cookbook, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and Hibiscus have introduced culinary enthusiasts to the diverse tastes of African flavours. Serving as worthy introductions to what the continent has to offer these pioneers have only just scratched the surface. The sheer diversity of Africa’s regions and cultures means there are more exciting taste experiences waiting to be brought forth.

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Kova’s Timeless Stylish Leather Accessories Made in Namibia

Taking its name from the Oshiwambo word ‘onkova’ meaning leather Kova is a premium brand of classically, stylish leather bags and accessories designed and made in Namibia. The business was founded in 2017 by Petrina Auino-Mwandingi, a Naturopathic doctor. Her interest in natural medicine led her toward embracing a holistic approach to healthcare. She runs her own health and wellness practice helping her clients to live as healthy as they can naturally. She started Kova as a way of tapping into her creative side and to show that affordable well-made products can be made locally without having to always look abroad. […]

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Duro Olowu’s Vibrant Patterned Textile Collection For Soane Britain

Fashion designer Duro Olowu has designed a textile collection for furniture brand Soane Britain. The collection sees Olowu’s signature style of colourful clashing patterns meet the furniture maker’s quintessential English sensibility. The collection came about after Olowu posted a picture of the Soane Britain storefront on his Instagram page. Founder Lulu Lytle saw it and reach out, beginning a conversation that uncovered a mutual interest in a love of pattern, deep respect for craftsmanship, and brought forth similar ideas for a textile range.

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The Elaborate Ancient Craftsmanship Of Handmade Batik Textiles

Batik is an ancient textile production technique with roots in Indonesia. In Africa batik has a long history and is still used today to produce local textiles with techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation usually mother to daughter. The Creation of Handmade Batik In Ghana is a fascinating visual essay that takes the viewer through the elaborate process. Part of a Google Arts and Culture feature the story was documented by Rahmée, founder of The Justine Project who travelled to Ghana to the Accra studio of Kwame a local batik artist who took her through the […]

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Berber Lodge A Laidback Rural Retreat Near Marrakesh

A rural retreat in Oumnass located half an hour from Morocco’s vibrant city of Marrakesh, Berber Lodge invites you to leave the hustle and bustle behind and step into a simpler way of life. The Lodge was founded by Romain Michel Meniere, a French-Swiss interior designer living in Morocco, who, working closely with the villagers of Oumnass sought to celebrated Berber culture, customs, craftsmanship and architecture.

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A Bright and Airy Contemporary Designer Home in Ghana

Described on Airbnb as being a unique designer oasis the bright and airy home of Nana Amu is no ordinary holiday rental. Situated in Accra, Ghana Nana’s home offers an open plan living dining kitchen space, relaxing bedroom with en suite, and a lush private garden. Previous guest guest reviews have described it as blending the style, elegance, and service of a 5 star boutique hotel with the warmth and authenticity of a private home.

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What Having A Dedicated Startup Act Means For Africa’s Creative Entrepreneurs

When I heard of the move by several African countries to adopt an official Startup Act my first thought was it’s about time. Having spent over 10 years promoting the work of and supporting African designers and the African design industry the one thing I hear a lot of in my conversations with designers and other industry professionals is a wish that local governments do more to support startups and entrepreneurs.

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S2 Ep 7 Behind The Design Season 2 Wrap Up and Reflections

You are listening to Behind the Design episode #7 the Studio Lessons. Which brings us to the end of season 2. It has been another inspiring season, and I thank all my guests for taking the time to chat and give us a behind the scenes look into their design journeys. I’ve loved discovering their motivations and the challenges and rewards that come from doing what they do.

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S2 Ep 6 Creating Sustainable Livelihoods Through the Creative Economy with Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro Founder MitiMeth

In this episode, I chat with entrepreneur Achenyo Idachaba-Obaro. Achenyo is the founder of MitiMeth. An award-winning social enterprise based in Nigeria with a mission of creating sustainable livelihoods through the creative economy. Working with local communities MitiMeth takes water hyacinth, an evasive destructive weed, and upcycles it into personal and interior accessories.

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Gorilla’s Nest A Luxury Retreat in the Foothills of Rwanda’s Virunga Volcano Range

Luxury resort and private property group One&Only has opened Gorilla’s Nest, their second property in Rwanda following the opening of Nyungwe House. Gorilla’s Nest is a luxury retreat set in the foothills of Rwanda’s Virunga Volcano Range, an area home to Mountain Gorillas, a rare and endangered species. Surrounded by tall eucalyptus trees and offering views of the volcanic hills the retreat on the edge of the Volcanoes National Park offers an immersive experience into the stunning flora and fauna of Rwanda. Whilst the gorillas are the biggest draw the rainforest is teeming with equally spectacular wildlife and is a […]

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S2 Ep4 Talking Self-belief, the Responsibility that Comes with Privilege and Having the Confidence to Seize the Opportunities with Thabisa Mjo

In this episode, I chat with Thabisa Mjo. Thabisa is the designer, behind Mash.T an award-winning Johannesburg based design studio that is contributing to the continuing evolution of a home-grown contemporary South African design aesthetic.Thabisa started out in the TV industry designing sets and moved into creating spaces that people in the real world could interact with

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S2 Ep 3 Building on the Legacy of the Family Business and Nurturing the Next Generation with Audrey Forson

In this episode, I chat with Audrey Forson. Audrey is a furniture designer, and the managing director of Tekura, her family’s business in Ghana. Taking over the helm from her mother Josephine who started Tekura with the support of her husband Kweku, Audrey is now taking the business to the next level. In our conversation, we talk about family business, the meaning of legacy and the importance of leaving something for, and nurturing the next generation. 

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