IMAGE OF THE DAY
“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
Image of the Day: ‘Colour Your Home’ … There is a growing global interest in African design, textiles and products, and talented Nigerian interior designer and lifestyle brand creator, Eva Sonaike, is taking the world by storm on the back of this trend. Her aim is to position the 'African' aesthetic in the global textiles and interior industry. Her pink Ijoba, blue Okan, yellow Ona, turquoise Ona, pink Eko, yellow Esin and grey Erin cushions with their signature Youruba names are guaranteed to bring a glorious splash of colour to your home. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Classic Oxford Cloth Dress’ … from five8ths, a bespoke shirtmaker with its atelier at 44 Stanley Avenue in Johannesburg, South Africa. Liz Kading, fine custom shirtmaker and founder, oversees the handcrafting of each garment, one at a time, using fine sewing techniques. She considers it an art-form to construct and sculpt each piece using fabrics that are carefully chosen with aesthetics, quality, and ecological impact in mind. Each item is designed with thoughtfulness and attention to detail, with the goal of producing favored wardrobe staples. Read More →
Mash.T Design Studio
Image of the Day: ‘Potjie Server’… a new design from Mash.T Design Studio, a lighting and furniture design company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company’s creative founder Thabisa Mjo prides herself on continuously providing her clients with highly creative solutions to their spatial challenges. She won the Nando’s Hot Young Designer Talent Search for her Tutu 2.0 light in 2015. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Delicious Chocolate Pralines’ … Oluwafemi Oyedipe, founder of LoshesChocolate in Nigeria, is part of an exciting vanguard of African women chocolatiers committed to adding value to Africa’s abundant cocoa resources. She is doing this with her bean-to-bar philosophy of chocolate making. She sources cocoa beans locally at fair trade and crafts the unique taste of each bean origin into fine chocolates in a bean-to-bar, single origin range of chocolates. Unsurprisingly, her exquisite creations are winning her a multitude of adoring ‘chocoholic’ fans. Read More →
‘New Skincare Range’ … SuzieBeauty officially launched the first Kenyan line of cosmetics products back in 2012 – developed by professional make-up artist and founder Suzie Wokabi, for the everyday African woman. This month saw the leading brand announcing it has expanded it’s range to include skin care. This comes after two years of product, market and manufacturing research to develop a new range of products targeted to the African woman.
Image of the Day: ‘Slip-on Loafer’ … These elegant slip-on loafers in 100% full grain leather are from Cape Town-based brand, Jane Sews, which has built a loyal following for its collection of carefully considered wardrobe staples and timeless pieces that are suitable for all seasons. Founder Amy Venter has built her brand around producing products that are unique, made from quality materials, designed with great care and presented in simple and inspiring ways. Read More →
‘Natural Style’ … Hairpolitan Lifestyle is an online magazine, created by Kenyan entrepreneur Wambui JL, aimed at sharing stories about people who are celebrating and living natural lifestyles. The magazine is Kenya’s go-to read for all things to do with natural hair trends, natural products for hair and skin, healthy eating through organic and natural foods, and achieving overall health and wellbeing.
‘Culturally Inspired Jewellery’ … This Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Cross Necklace pays tribute to the queen regnant who was a woman of great beauty, power and wealth. It's a fitting name for adornment that embodies chic opulence. SHIKHAZURI, founded by Shikha Vincent, is a Kenyan based jewellery design company attracting global attention with its culturally inspired jewellery, whilst at the same time providing economic opportunities for Kenyan artisans.
World Chocolate Day
‘World Chocolate Day’ … tomorrow is a very special day for all chocoholics as on 7 July we celebrate World Chocolate Day. This observance occurs globally every year and is the perfect excuse to indulge your love for all things chocolate. It has been suggested that on this day 467 years ago chocolate was introduced to Europe for the first time. To celebrate the day here at Lionesses of Africa we have created a special feature recognizing Africa’s most exciting women chocolatiers.
Image of the Day: ‘Casablanca’ … one of the more popular yoga foam mat designs from Sentiens, a Cape Town-based company that designs functional wellness and lifestyle products that are kind to the planet. Founder Claire Keet has a great eye for producing beautiful, functional yoga and fitness gear. Her range of mats combine gorgeous aesthetics with great performance, all designed and created in sunny South Africa, often in collaboration with talented local designers. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘African Eco-friendly Shoes’ … UZURI K&Y is an eco-friendly Rwandan shoe brand that has been changing lives one shoe at a time since 2013. Founders Ysolde Shimwe and Kevine Kagirimpundu combine their talents to design and manufacture some of the hottest shoes on the continent. Creating employment especially for women and youth is at the heart of their business. So far the company has trained 35 local women and men to become shoe-makers and is committed to training and employing 1,000 more shoe-makers by the end of 2020! Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Eco-smart Cooking’ … the ingenious non-electric slowcooker, Wonderbag, is now being produced in Uganda! Founder Sarah Collins’ mission is simple: to economically empower women and girls across the world by addressing the critical daily challenges of time poverty, self worth and cleaner, healthier cooking. Her goal is for every household to have a Wonderbag to change the world, from North America to South Africa and everywhere in between. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Nxalati Dress’ … make moves in the culturally captivating dress from Burgundy Fly, inspired by traditional Bongolani fabric patterns of the Malian cloth dating back to the 12th century. Nobesuthu Ndlovu, founder of Burgundy Fly together with her business partner and husband Nhlanhla, is building an exciting fashion retail company in South Africa with two physical stores and a thriving online shop. All their garments are designed and manufactured with love in South Africa. Read More →
‘Stunning Lighting’ … from Dounia Tamri-Loeper, a US-based, Moroccan design entrepreneur and founder of Dounia Home. Lighting is her inspiration and her company creates beautiful, statement lighting pieces that not only celebrate the centuries-old techniques and designs that are uniquely Moroccan, but also elevates them to a whole new level.
Image of the Day: ‘Celebrating African Fashion’ … Congratulations to Bold Kampala who this month celebrated their 6th Anniversary. Founders Nunu Mugyenyi, Janet Mugume and Angel Kalisa have built an award-winning retail outlet that houses over thirty up and coming designers from countries across the African continent including Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Ghana, Tunisia and South Africa. They create opportunities for designers to retail their collections in affordable spaces with excellent exposure. Their mission is to increase the support to the African fashion industry, both locally and internationally. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Surf Africa’ … Bantu Wax, founded by Yodit Eklund, is an African surf brand that breaks the clichés of blonde, blue-eyed surf babes with images from Africa's own surf culture. Since its birth, Bantu has been Made In Africa, by Africans, sustainably and fairly producing a cool range of swimwear, beach and surf wear. Read More →
Katannuta Diamonds X Chocoloza
Image of the Day: ‘Diamonds and Chocolates are a Girl’s Best Friends!’ … Katannuta Diamonds and Chocoloza recently hosted a Diamonds and Chocolate evening where guests had the opportunity to browse and experience fantastic chocolates and an exciting new range of diamond jewellery. Founders Vicki Bain and Clare Appleyard have provided a great example of how collaboration between women entrepreneurs can be used as a great marketing tool. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Vibrant Tassel Earrings’ … from Inzuki Designs, a dynamic Rwandan brand specializing in jewellery, accessories and interior decor products hand-made from local materials by local crafters. With no background in fashion or business, Teta Isibo quit her job as an urban planner with the city of Kigali to start her design business. Today Inzuki (which means bees in the local language) is part of a wider Rwandan cultural Renaissance, creatively fusing traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style, and winning admirers around the world. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Ankara Jewelry’ … from African Things, maker of contemporary African inspired lifestyle products that are functional with innovative designs in a manner that empowers Africans. Founder Oluwatosin Lawson from Nigeria aims to change the negative image associated with African manufacturing and become a symbol for high quality products, whilst at the same time empowering Africans. Her product range includes backpacks, bow ties, earrings and bangles and several other fashion related items. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Collaborating Women’ … a photo shoot collaboration featuring Yococo, a South African artisan ice cream startup; Beauty On Tapp, a South African online beauty product retailer; and Nokware Skincare, a Ghanaian organic skincare brand. A great example of women entrepreneurs from across Africa collaborating creatively. Read more. Read More →
‘Crusty Baguettes’ … from Babette’s Bread who use traditional artisan baking techniques and top quality natural ingredients to produce bread that is wholesome and delicious. Founder Babette Kourelos traded law for bread baking and travelled to Vermont, USA to apprentice with a French baker. The apprenticeship involved the learning of old school artisan bread baking techniques as well as the cultivation and maintaining of a traditional sourdough culture. Babette brought her sourdough culture "Maggie" back to SA and uses it in the bakery every week. Read More →
‘Fun. Colourful. Eclectic’ … are the design hallmarks of Femi Handbags, an African handbags and accessories brand from Nigeria that embodies the exuberant approach to life of its founder, Femi Olayebi. Femi’s designs welcome buyers to a world where the bold and adventurous meets sophisticated elegance.
‘Hot Stuff’ … from Black Mamba, a fair trade brand of gourmet chilli products from the the Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland) made with organically grown ingredients and no artificial flavours or preservatives. The range includes chilli sauces, pestos, and chutneys. Co-founder Claudia Castellanos Roques partners with a local NGO called Guba that trains small farmers in organic farming. Black Mamba then buys at negotiated prices all the organic produce grown by these farmers to manufacture their products. Products are currently exported to South Africa, the UK, Germany and Australia.
‘Father’s Day Gift Idea’ … pamper Dad with the just launched range of Men’s bodycare products from Rain Africa which are all ethically produced using natural ingredients from ancient African origins. Founder Bev Missing started her project back in 1999 in her garage hoping to help solve unemployment in her hometown of Ladybrand. Today, RAIN has over 20 stores across South Africa, two unique wellness spas, and stores in Namibia, United States and Ireland.
‘Father’s Day Gift Idea’ … many Dad’s enjoy a cold beer and we’ve got just the one for celebrating Father’s Day. Toast is an award winning craft beer from South African entrepreneur Bianca Hansen. What makes her beer different is that it’s brewed using surplus fresh bread that would otherwise end up in a landfill, turning a waste product into a brand new product. Better yet is the fact that 100% of all Toast’s profits go to a charity called Soil for Life to target hunger in a sustainable way. Truly a beer with a great cause!
‘Father’s Day Gift Idea’ … get Dad into the coolest and most eco-friendly shoes on the planet from Africa’s fastest growing footwear brand, soleRebels. Founded by the truly inspirational Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, this company from day one has reimagined how footwear could be made: from the materials, to the methods of construction, to a Fair-trade company ethos. They use hand loomed fabrics, inner tube laces, recycled tire soles and hand spun cotton, all handcrafted by skilled artisans in their Addis Ababa workshop. The result: The comfiest, most creative footwear that Dad will ever wear.
MΛRY JEΛN Jewellery
‘Father’s Day Gift Idea’ … show the father figure in your life how much you love him by giving him these specially handmade cufflinks from MΛRY JEΛN Jewellery in South Africa. Founder Mary-Jean Treloar designs and manufactures fine handmade jewellery that is inspired by patterns and symbols found across the African continent.
‘Father’s Day Gift Idea’ … double sided pocket square from Eki Orleans, a luxury fashion brand designing their own African silk inspired prints. Founder Hazel Aggrey-Orleans is a brand builder using her West African heritage to create truly unique, luxury ready to wear and bespoke fashion collections, swimwear, and scarves for women, and now pocket squares for men.
‘All Ears Tote Bag’ … from Zana, a South African company that designs and produces screen printed textile products in Cape Town. Mother and daughter team, Sue and Robyn Britz, launched Zana in 2012, focused on bold fun fabric patterns and novelty giftables. Today, Zana sells to buyers and boutiques all over the world.
‘Cow Horn Jewellery’ … Margaux Wong is a talented fashion and textile designer originally from Guyana, South America, now living and working in Burundi. She specializes in elegant jewelry, handcrafted sustainably from cow horn and recycled brass. Margaux describes herself as a Burundian sustainable maker of pretty things.
‘That Special Gift’ .… from Mulandi in Mozambique, a company creating beautiful floral arrangements and gifts for those wanting to give something highly personal to their clients, friends or loved ones. Founder Vanessa Guilherme Nhabete offers a wide range of decorative event products and services, using high quality materials, creating beautiful products that are high quality yet still affordable.
‘Conscious Fashion’ .… In a world that is dominated by fast fashion, there is a beautiful, eco-conscious antidote for consumers looking for a handcrafted, designer alternative. Lunar, a two decade old, nature inspired fashion and lifestyle brand is now moving into a new era, led by South African entrepreneur Nicola Luther. From their latest collection is this classic spaghetti strap dress with soft mesh overlay.
‘Okuta Tea Set’ .… is part of an exquisite new homeware accessory collection from Mimi Shodeinde, founder of Miminat Designs. This talented creative celebrates African design in a contemporary, minimal context, combining the best of tradition with technological innovation. Her Okuta Collection is inspired by ancient Yoruba stone murals, and explores the organic and natural forms of late 14th century Yoruba design. Its combination of wood, brass, glass, ceramic and gold leaf, embodies the richness that the African continent and Yoruba culture have to offer.
House of Tara
‘Perfect Eyes and Lashes’ .… by House of Tara, Africa’s leading homegrown makeup brand. Founder Tara Fela-Durotoye, a Nigerian-born lawyer turned Africa's leading beauty and makeup entrepreneur, started her business at the age of 20 from her living room. Today, Tara has over 10,000 representatives spread across Nigeria and she is steadfastly dedicated to realizing her vision of building a globally respected beauty company of African origin. Tara remains an inspirational role-model and mentor to make-up artists and aspiring beauty business owners across Africa.
‘Handcrafted with Care’ .… Rain Africa produces bath, body & home products that are handcrafted with natural ingredients from ancient African origins. Their products are designed to reveal and enhance the true inner beauty of your body, mind, and spirit. Founder Bev Missing firmly believes that irregularity is never a defect and that handmade is tangible evidence that a human hand crafted something with care and individuality.
‘Award-winning Winemaker’ .… Ntsiki Biyela is a South African winemaker and businesswoman who is the founder of Aslina Wines. Previously, she was head winemaker at Stellekaya Wines, where Ntsiki became the first black female winemaker in South Africa. This award-winning winemaker is rapidly winning fans around the world with her export-focused brand. In 2009 she was voted South Africa’s Woman Winemaker of the Year; and in 2017 she was listed in the world's top 20 most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by Fortune’s Food & Wine.
Miss Salon London
‘Perfect Pink Nails’ .… by Miss Salon London who have boutique nail bars in Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa. Founder Ego Iwegbu and her two partners Azania Mosaka and Linda Jangulo consider their business more of a luxury girls’ club than just nail bars. Plus they like things, nice things, and they look for them from all over the world and bring them to their customers through the salons and their online store.
MΛRY JEΛN Jewellery
‘Mmere Long Studs’.… earrings in silver and brass from MΛRY JEΛN Jewellery in South Africa. Founder Mary-Jean Treloar designs and manufactures fine handmade jewellery that is inspired by patterns and symbols found across the African continent. The design for these earrings is inspired by the Adinkra symbol ‘Mmere Dane’, meaning “Time Changes” and symbolizing change and life’s dynamics.
Lulu & Marula
‘Natural Lip Balm’ .… treat your lips to an all natural lip balm from Lulu & Marula in South Africa, who produce a collection of small batch, all natural skin care products. Founder Jesslynn Schlamm’s handcrafted, artisanal skincare products are all 100% natural, created from pure botanical oils, extracts, waters and are totally free from chemicals, fillers, perfumes and preservatives. She also makes sure to empower local businesses using ingredients and packaging that is, wherever possible, made and sourced in and around South Africa. Read more.
‘Paper Pulp Bowls’ .… from Quazi Design, a cutting edge craft company in eSwatini (Swaziland) that transforms waste magazines into original jewellery, accessories and homeware. These bowls are handmade from 100% waste newspaper, water based glue and varnish. Co-founded by Doron Shaltiel, a designer from the UK, Quazi pushes the boundaries of recycling, developing interesting techniques, including layering magazine pages to recreate the impression of wood, as if transforming the material back to its original form. Read more.
‘Mini Full Moon Bag’ …. from the Moon Capsule Collection of Bush Princess, an exclusive handbag and accessories brand handcrafted in Kenya, in a socially responsible environment. Founder Charlotte Le Febvre was born in Sweden and spent her life moving between European countries, from Italy, to France, to England. Combining her European fashion experience with the fabulous colours of African plains, she has built an exciting brand. The brand is also committed to ethical production, supporting local communities and sourcing sustainable products throughout her design and production process.
‘Functional Table Art’ …. from renowned South African artist and designer Carrol Boyes who finds the perfect synthesis between art and function in her unique homeware. Carrol’s gifting items draw their inspiration from both the human form and the beauty of nature. Her unique products are available through her 35 branded shops in South Africa and in over 30 other countries around the world.
Katy Valentine Collection
No Monday Blues Here’ …. from The Katy Valentine Collection, an emerging Cape Town based jewellery brand that creates a collection of modern, African jewellery. Katy’s pieces combine antique African beads with Jaipur gemstones and minimalist design, and are all about the interplay between African and Indian cultures.
O’live Handmade Soaps
‘Pure Plant-Based-Oil Soap’ …. from O’live Handmade Soaps in Cape Town, an artisan soap maker harnessing the unique natural qualities of indigenous herbs and plants from the world famous Cape Floral Kingdom to produce world-class skincare products. Founder Zikhona Tefu is passionate about creating quality artisan body and bath products, using only organic, vegan, natural, skin loving ingredients.
‘Flor de Laranjeira Bombons’ …. from Kakawa Chocolates, an artisanal chocolate company in Maputo, Mozambique who produce a wonderful range of chocolate bonbons using exotic local and international flavors. Co-founder Séfora Noor along with three of her best friends who have all known each other since childhood have turned their collective passion for chocolate into a thriving business.
‘Eco Construction’ …. Creating affordable housing solutions in Africa is a key challenge for many countries, and particularly homes that are eco-friendly. But Joelle Eyeson, co-founder of Hive Earth, is bringing a new and innovative solution to Ghana, and one that is replicable across the continent. Her eco construction company uses the rammed earth method of construction, using locally sourced, eco friendly and sustainable materials. The company constructs all of its buildings with mud and granite chippings.
‘Creative & Productive Space’ …. Stoep Startup is a truly unique co-working space and work retreat in the heart of the southern suburbs of Cape Town for social innovators, entrepreneurs and startups. Along with beautiful co-working spaces, founders Carrie Leaver and Shona McDonald offer bed and breakfast for travelling professionals on business trips; plus venue hire, events, workshops and a gorgeous stoep cafe.
‘Shaman Flair Necklace’ …. from SHIKHAZURI, a Kenyan based jewellery design company making its mark in global markets. Founder Shikha Vincent launched her company following her fascination with ethnic and tribal jewellery from across the African continent, combined with her desire to support wildlife conservation in her country. Her jewellery pieces all feature a strong backstory and the name for this statement African tribal necklace, Shaman Flair, is inspired by the folklore legends surrounding the “Shaman”, a person regarded as having access to, and influence in the spirit world.
‘Made in Rwanda’…. from Uzuri K&Y in Rwanda, a company creating beautiful handcrafted shoes with a unique Rwandan aesthetic. Founders Kevine Kagirimpundu and Ysolde Shimwe are two former college classmates who shared a passion for fashion and a desire to start a business venture that would create much needed jobs for their community. Despite little means, they decided to kickstart their business whilst still studying, launching Uzuri K&Y back in 2013. Today, their dream continues to go from strength to strength.
‘Eco Backpack’ …. is a “recycled plastic bottle” felt backpack from the latest range of Cape Town based, eco-fashion brand, The Joinery. Founders and sisters Natalie and Kim Ellis are at the cutting edge of using fashion to contribute to cleaning up South Africa. This design duo create products to support the drive to clean up our oceans and landfills and keep the world free from plastic waste. Their felt fabric is made from plastic bottles saved from South African landfill sites and oceans.
‘Dream of Giraffes’ …. from the latest range of infant bedding and nursery decor by Nels Babies in Namibia. Founder Beatha Shitemba has built an online-based company which specializes in unique, custom-made children’s bedding and curtains. Beatha offers a trendy Namibian alternative for boys', girls' or gender-neutral nurseries. She aims to penetrate new export markets, and to connect with more stockists and retail shops that can house her products.
‘Lipstick Clutch Bag’ …. from the new Boutique Collection of Joela Leather based in Lagos, Nigeria. Founder and designer, Yomi Odutola, produces a creative range of luxury handbags and leather accessories such as wallets and pouches. Yomi is part of an exciting vanguard of West African women brand builders who are launching exciting fashion products with a fresh take on African materials, craftsmanship and design heritage.