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
‘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.
Hand Made by Me
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 →
Katy Valentine Collection
‘Hand Crafted Jewellery’ … from the Katy Valentine Collection, founded by Katy Valentine, a South African jewellery designer creating collections inspired by African and Indian cultures. Her pieces combine antique African beads with Jaipur gemstones and minimalist design.
Little Green Number
‘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.
A A K S
‘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.
Little Pine Tree
‘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.
Abigail K. Photography
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.
Oryx Desert Salt
‘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.
Silver Box Jewellery
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.
Mash.T Design Studio
‘Lighting Spaces With Colour’ … Thabisa Mjo the founder of Mash.T Design Studio in South Africa has this past week been lighting up Maison & Objet, the international home decor, interior design, architecture and lifestyle show in Paris with her wonderfully colourful Tutu Light design. Mash.T Design Studio is an interior design firm, specializing in design for the retail and hospitality sectors and Thabisa is fast making a name for herself with her highly creative designs.
‘Cooking Up a Storm!’… They say food is love, and when prepared by passionate chefs who have a love and respect for the ingredients they use, combined with a creative eye and hand, that love is passed on to the customer. South African chef and entrepreneur, Ntediseng Mwale (Chef Teddy), founder of Excellere Foods, a company specialising in catering and confectionery.
‘Passion Filled Ice cream’… Fresh, fun and love filled ice cream made from YoCoco that is also Dairy-Free. YoCoco, founded by Sine Ndlela, is an exciting new artisan dairy-free ice cream brand that is tantalising tastebuds in South Africa with fabulous flavour combinations and taste sensations.
‘Fun Tote’…Zana's fun and durable tote bag is perfect for hitting the market, carrying your picnic, or just going to work with your laptop. Zana, a Cape Town based company designing and producing screen printed textile products, was launched in 2012 by mother and daughter duo Sue and Robyn Britz. Sue has many years’ experience in print and production and Robyn focuses on the graphic design, branding and online. Focused on bold fun patterns and novelty giftables, Zana sells it products online and wholesales to buyers and boutiques all over the world.
‘Inspiring Radio Host’… congratulations to Zambian entrepreneur and media personality, Rose Sibisi, on launching her new show on Radio Christian Voice in Lusaka which airs every Friday at 12:10pm. Rose is also the creator and host of StylewithRoseS, a popular television talk-show in Zambia that showcases self-made women entrepreneurs, women game changers, women trailblazers and women innovators.
Mathilde & Co.
‘Shweshwe Summer Hats’… from Mathilde & Co., a small cooperative of women based in the little Karoo of Barrydale, aiming to empower as many women as possible by teaching them skills and business-sense. Founder Gwendolyne Gosselin ensures that all items are individually handmade with passion and care in the best cottons and colourful African fabrics.
House of Tara
‘Make-up for Women of Colour’… from House of Tara International, a pioneering make-up company in Nigeria with a vision to become a globally respected beauty brand. Founder, Tara Fela-Durotoye, takes pride in empowering women, creating self-awareness, as well as boosting self-esteem. Read more.
‘Beautiful Baby Nursery’… by Nels Babies, an online specialist of unique, custom-made children’s bedding and curtains in Namibia. Founder Beatha Shitemba creates beautiful products for decorating gender-neutral nurseries, for those who don't want to be confined by typical, gender-orientated decor.
‘Eco-friendly Jewellery’… from Yakutti, an online platform that curates and sells uniquely elegant jewelry produced by ethical and eco-conscious jewelry designers and brands that are contributing in significant ways to their local communities in Kenya and Tanzania. The featured bangles are handmade using up-cycled brass and aluminium by talented artisans in Nairobi.
Ruff 'n' Tumble
‘Kids Fashion’… from Ruff 'n' Tumble, a leading designer, manufacturer and retailer of designer children's clothing in Nigeria. Founder Adenike Ogunlesi started out modestly in 1996 selling the clothes she made from the boot of her car and in bazaars. Today, Ruff 'n' Tumble is an instantly recognisable brand in Nigeria and has a reputation for being one of the top manufacturers of children's clothing throughout West Africa.
Image of the Day: 'Adinkra Chocolates'… ’57 Chocolate is the pioneer bean to bar chocolate business in Ghana defined by creativity and luxury, and created by sisters Kimberley and Priscilla Addison. This venture uses resources grown within the country to create delicious, whimsical chocolate treats. ’57 hones in on Ghana’s Independence Day spirit and challenges the status quo that premium chocolate can only be made in Europe. The featured Adinkra bars are beautiful bite-sized bars engraved with visual symbols originally created by the Ashanti of Ghana. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Celebrating African Print’… Pernia Couture is a creative fashion brand from Ghana that uses African prints and beadwork to create a unique range of ladies’ clothing and accessories. Founder Anna Cole Ojukwu is passionate about creating bold unique accessories and clothes to make women feel more confident. Read More →
YSWARA & Terres D'Afrique
‘The Ritual of Tea’… presented by YSWARA, a rapidly growing African luxury tea brand that produces a collection of luxury teas, infusions and tea time accessories that tell a uniquely African story. Founder Swaady Martin creates elegant, high-end products using the continent’s natural resources, all produced by African artisans. Swaady aims to capture a true spirit of African luxury by reviving Africa’s endangered cultural heritage and unique ancestral craftsmanship.
Image of the Day: ‘Air Mesh Honeycomb Coat’… available at Burgundy Fly, a fashion retail brand that is rapidly becoming South Africa’s fashion window to the world! Founder Nobesuthu Ndlovu is a great example of a woman entrepreneur who has all these skills and more, and together with her business partner and husband is building an exciting company that now has three retail stores, as well as a successful online store. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Master Weaver’… Kente Master is a fabric artisan startup committed to promoting African entrepreneurship by internationally servicing a unique blend of premium, finished Kente graduation stoles. Founder Rafiat Kasumu creates dynamic, long-lasting, and mutually beneficial relationships between local Kente weaving associations in Ghana and universities in the United States so that students graduate wearing authentic, customized graduation stoles #MadeInGhana. Read More →
Matter of Fakt
Image of the Day: ‘The Tony Earrings’… are a collaboration dreamt up by two like-minded designers, Matter of Fakt and Thalia Strates. Founded in November 2013 by designer Mary-Anne Grobler, Matter of Fakt was the result of what seemed to be Mary-Anne’s perpetual and disappointing search for the perfect show-stopping, larger-than-life, natural-stone statement ring. The Matter of Fakt brand is based on their appreciation of contemporary African adornments. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘Zebra Print Maxi Dress’… from Adèle Dejak, a brand of handcrafted fashion jewellery and fashion accessories that is inspired by African tribes, textiles, culture and traditions. At the forefront of the African luxury movement is Adèle’s edgy collection of bags, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings which is a must-have fashion accessory and fashion statement piece. The brand is built on an ethical and sustainable business model, with the objective of empowering women through adornment. Read More →
Image of the Day: ‘RCT Shoulder Bag’… from soleRebels, an amazing artisan footwear company founded in 2004 by Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu in her community of Zenabwork in Ethiopia. soleRebels is the world's first Fair Trade footwear company and its products are sold in over 40 countries around the globe. Since launching, soleRebels has created 1,200 jobs and plans to have more than 3,000 full-time Ethiopian employees by the end of 2018 when its new production facility is complete. Read More →
Image of the Day: 'Luxury Softness'… from Miss Knitwear, a Cape Town based designer and producer of luxury knitwear using all natural yarns and materials. Candice Johnson founded Miss Knitwear in 2013, creating her first luxurious collection of fine kid mohair shawls, scarves and throws. She has expanded her collection to include a men’s and décor collection using only the finest ethically sourced kid mohair. Read More →
The House of Agness
Image of the Day: ‘Acrylic Flower Box’... by the The House of Agness, a floral design company in Mozambique inspired by modern, minimalistic aesthetics but with a classic touch. Founder Mariana Agness Francisco Eria's products and services include deliveries of her signature boxes, bouquets and gift boxes and onsite floral services. Read More →
New Year Spirit
Image of the Day: ‘New Year Spirit'... Welcome to 2018. Let’s make it one to remember for all women entrepreneurs across the African continent. Get ready to roar Lionesses!