“They say that a picture says a thousand words, and we couldn't agree more. In the world of Lionesses of Africa, we celebrate women's entrepreneurship in all its forms on the continent, and we love the powerful images that conjure up the spirit of women-owned businesses and the products and services they create. These images give us an insight into the unique creativity that exists here in Africa and that is capturing the imagination of the world. Each Monday to Friday, Lionesses of Africa features a striking 'Image of the Day' that celebrates the work, or a moment in the life of, a talented African woman entrepreneur. Enjoy!”
— Melanie Hawken, LoA founder and editor-in-chief
LATEST IMAGES OF THE DAY
‘Imaginative Artwork’ … Victoria Verbaan is an established South African artist and illustrator working in a wide variety of artistic disciplines. She produces a range of limited edition fine art, wearable art and poster prints. Victoria’s sense of humour and personality always shine through her illustrations and artworks, winning her fans around the world.
‘Reveal the Goddess in You’ … with the sun kissed Tatou Georgette Wrap Dress available through Burgundy Fly. Co-founded by Nobesuthu Ndlovu, Burgundy Fly is South Africa's most loved fashion retailer of unique garments and accessories. Nobesuthu is passionate about showcasing the best of South Africa’s design talent in her boutiques and online shop.
Image of the Day: ‘African Design On Show in New York’ … Sera Holland, is a South African-based textile designer and the founder of Hand Made by Me. She designs and produces a range of bespoke fabrics that are made into a variety of tableware and home decor products. This past week Sera was in New York exhibiting her beautiful new range of products at the Restaurant and Food Service Show. Read More →
‘Recycling Advertising Billboard Into Funky Bags’ … Little Green Number is the brainchild of a South African social entrepreneur, Juanita van der Merwe, who is aiming to change the world for the better by not only creating unique, really funky handmade bags made from recycled advertising billboards, but also creating much-needed local jobs for young people in her community.
‘Luxury Handcrafted in Ghana’ … A A K S, founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi, is an emerging Afro Luxe brand that is taking the world of fashion accessories by storm. Akosua created her brand with the goal of introducing the world to her favourite raffia weaving techniques done by the women of Ghana. Their latest handbag, the ‘Hana’, is chic in black and natural colour blocking, with sturdy leather straps and a drawstring closure to keep all your essentials tucked in one place.
‘Beer Brewed With Bread’ … Toast Ale SA, co-founded by Bianca Hansen, uses bread that would otherwise go to waste as the foundation for brewing a delicious beer. Their award-winning craft beer is made from fresh, surplus bread from bakeries and sandwich manufacturers. All their profits go to a charity called Soil for Life to target hunger in South Africa in a sustainable way. With so much food going wasted and so many people going hungry in South Africa alone, Toast Ale is creating an impactful solution.
‘Keeping Workers Safe’ … Liesl Esau is the founder of HSE Matters, a consultancy business in South Africa providing Occupational Health and Safety, Environmental Management and customized training to clients in high hazard industries. Founded in 2015, HSE Matters is passionately committed to preventing work related accidents and diseases.
‘Toys Handmade With Love’ … Little Pine Tree is a social enterprise that empowers local women by teaching them to knit children’s toys. Launched in 2015 by Goeun Bae, this toy making workshop in Johannesburg creates a space where unemployed women from different backgrounds can meet and learn a new skill and generate much needed income. Little Pine Tree toys are sold in stores across South Africa and all profits are directed back into the project.
‘Gold Paper Bowls’ … on display at Maison Objet in Paris, produced by Quazi Design, a cutting edge craft company in Swaziland, who are changing the perception of waste paper and handcraft. All their products are hand made by local women, empowering them through skill sharing and earning a sustainable, permanent income.
‘Lighting Up Lives’ … Hafsat Yahyah used to be a groundnut street-hawker in Nigeria struglling to make 300 naira profit after many hours of hard selling each day. She decided to join Solar Sister, an incredible social enterprise that eradicates energy poverty and at the same time empowers women to become direct sales agents to bring light, hope and opportunity to even the most remote communities in rural Africa. In less than one week, Hafsat sold products worth 48,800 naira, equivalent to 6 months profits she made as a groundnut street-hawker. Hafsat’s story is a compelling example of the power of entrepreneurship and hard work to change women’s lives! Read more.
‘ILAVA Style!’ … Rahel Mwitula Williams is a Tanzanian lifestyle brand builder with a keen eye for fashion and a big social conscience. Her proudly African lifestyle brand, ILAVA (which translates as IT CAN BE DONE), is passionate about making women feel empowered through fashion, whilst at the same time positively impacting the lives of others.
‘Chef Naledi’ … Naledi Toona is a South African entrepreneur taking her skills as a private chef to the next level in business. She specializes in private chef services for intimate events, as well as offering cooking classes. Chef Naledi is passionate about helping others build their knowledge and experience of cooking at home.
‘The FH Trunk’ … Femi Olayebi is the founder of Femi Handbags, a Nigerian accessories brand that always creates visual delights. Her unique take on beautiful, handcrafted pieces is winning her admirers across the globe. Femi has a deep appreciation for African culture and textiles and this allows her to create handbags and accessories that have a great story to tell and a wonderful visual appeal.
‘Soap Handmade With Love’ … Cristina Margarida Rocha, the founder of Daisy Social, is a Mozambican social entrepreneur empowering women through handmade soap manufacturing. Cristina has taken her love of handmade soap and used it to build a high impact social business to empower other women.
Image of the Day: ‘Woman Behind the Lens’ … Abigail Klopper, the founder of Abigail K. Photography in South Africa, is a women’s portrait photographer and confidence crusader, with a passion for helping women build confidence at all stages of their lives. She helps women cultivate their confidence through her Specialist Women’s Portrait Photography, her online Conscious Confidence course, professional speaking, workshops and online platforms. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Stylish Natural Hair’ … as featured in Hairpolitan Lifestyle, an online magazine, created by Kenyan entrepreneur, Wambui JL, sharing stories about people who are celebrating and living natural lifestyles. The magazine informs women on growing their natural hair, using natural products for their hair and skin, eating organic foods, and managing their overall wellbeing. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Suede Leather Rucksack’ … by Dokmai, a Rwandan company founded in 2014 by Bernadette Umunyana, producing fashion accessories for women and men including handbags, laptop bags, satchels, belts, evening clutches, purses and cosmetic bags. All their products are handmade with passion in Rwanda by skilled leather craftspeople and the company is committed to Fair Trade principles and the training of young people. Read More →
‘Bread, glorious bread!’ … Babette Kourelos, founder of Johannesburg-based artisan bread-baking company Babette’s Bread, has turned her passion for the art of bread-baking into a thriving business. At Babette’s Bread, they bake 100% natural artisan bread using only the best local and natural unbleached stone ground flour, salt, water and yeast. Using traditional artisan bread baking techniques results in bread with great character and flavour, which is also easy to digest.
‘Vibrant Tassel Earrings’ … from Inzuki, a dynamic young Rwandan brand specializing in jewellery, accessories and interior decor products, hand-made using local materials by local artisans. Founder, Teta Isibo, is renowned for her bold African fusion jewellery with a contemporary edge that is African inspired and globally loved. Inzuki is now aiming for international markets and will soon be available in the rest of Africa, Europe, Asia and North America.
‘Torero Backpacks’ … the latest handmade backpacks from Reform Studio made out of recycled plastic. The concept behind this eco-business based in Egypt all started when its founders, Mariam Hazem and Hend Riad, challenged themselves to find an innovative design solution to help solve one of Egypts most serious environmental problems: waste plastic. One experiment after another led the duo came up with the company’s first product ‘Plastex’ - a new eco-friendly material made by weaving discarded plastic bags.
‘Celebrating African Salt’ … Samantha Skyring, founder of Oryx Desert Salt, is a South African entrepreneur bringing the unique desert salt of the Kalahari to the world’s kitchens. Her rapidly growing company supplies a natural, crystal-white salt from the Kalahari – unrefined, sun-dried, and free from any additives and preservatives. It is harvested in a sustainable manner from a remote and pristine area of the vast Kalahari Desert in South Africa.
‘Chocolate Tempations’ … Sugar free chilli and dark chocolate finished with a dash of African inspired bling from The Chocolatiers, a South African mother and daughter team creating artisanal, handcrafted chocolates with a conscience. This team are passionate champions of slow food, and their approach is steeped in tradition, taking their time to hand make every chocolate with love and to perfection.
‘World Read Aloud Day’ … was celebrated on February 1st and Fatuma Abdullah the founder of Akiki Dolls in South Africa made sure to encourage every one to read aloud to their children. Fatuma is the author and publisher of the wonderful children's book ‘Akiki’ - a you African girl who enjoys all manner of adventures in an urban African setting. Fatuma’s books along with her range of Akiki Dolls bring a refreshing African narrative to children, teaching them to celebrate and embrace their African heritage.
Image of the Day: ‘Luxury Knitwear’ … Candice Johnson is pictured showcasing her designer mohair knitwear range at The Copenhagen International Fashion Fair in Denmark. Miss Knitwear is a Cape Town based designer and producer of luxury knitwear, using natural yarns and materials which are locally and ethically sourced. Candice did a great job introducing her unique range that celebrates traditional South African skills and luxurious raw materials to the Scandinavian market. Read More →
‘When Lighting Becomes Art’… It’s often said that lighting makes a space or a room come alive, and for design entrepreneur Dounia Tamri-Loeper, founder of Dounia Home, lighting is her inspiration. She is creating beautiful, statement lighting pieces that not only celebrate the centuries-old techniques and designs that are uniquely Moroccan, but is elevating them to a whole new level. Read More.
Image of the Day: ‘African Print Baby Clothes’… from Kuna Kids who create a range of children's clothing that is bright and bold with a distinctive African twist. South African entrepreneur and designer, Shingai Nyagweta, founder of KuNa Kids, is building a loyal following around the world for her children’s clothing brand that embraces the uniquely local shweshwe fabrics, but incorporated into funky and practical designs. Read More →
‘Wrap Dress’… from KONA, a unique fashion and accessories company in Uganda that is inspired by a mix of Indian and African influences. Founders Bhavya Kalsi and Nimisha Kalipurayath playfully mix patterns, styles, colors, stitching techniques and materials to form Kona’s unique product line. With raw materials being sourced locally and products handmade by a team of women in Kampala, Kona’s purpose is to create employment and empowerment for local artisans. Read more.
Image of the Day: ‘Colourful Gems’ … Rachel Phiri is the founder of Silver Box Jewellery in Zimbabwe, creating authentic, handcrafted jewellery for all who love beautiful accessories. Rachel has a great eye for combining colourful stones in her pieces, and is passionate about producing accessories that modern women can use as part of their day-to-day wardrobe. Read More →
‘Pendant Light’ … Is it concrete? No, it's 100% waste paper! Mixed with recycled glass and local jacaranda wood. These beautiful pendant lights are produced by Quazi Design, a cutting edge craft company in Swaziland, who are changing the perception of waste paper and handcraft. All their products are hand made by local women, empowering them through skill sharing and earning a sustainable permanent income.