Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016

Happy new year! I hope you had some time to rest and rejuvenate as the year turned. A good chunk of my holiday was spent in Moshi, Tanzania. I stayed at my late grandparents’ home – resting, reading and spending time with family. I came back to Nairobi with renewed enthusiasm and clarity! There are several big (and slightly scary) adventures – design and otherwise – on the horizon this year, for me and for the Studio. I look forward to sharing them with you.

The first one starts next week, when 3 creative friends and I set off for a 15,000km+ road trip through southern Africa (see below).

As we prepare to set off, I wanted to share some highlights from 2016. Many of you have been a part of these projects and endeavours and I thank you deeply for your different contributions. Continue reading “Lulu Kitololo Studio design and illustration highlights from 2016”

The Afri-love List: 4 (East) African Photographers to Follow on Instagram



This is the first of many lists as I’m constantly discovering amazing African photographers (and other creatives), through Instagram. The four featured here all hail from my part of the continent – the east. This is just a slice of their repertoire so be sure to check them out their Instagram feeds. In alphabetical order …

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Project Stories: ‘African Cities’ Greeting Cards

You may have already gathered my excitement, from Facebook and Instagram, about one of my latest projects – a series of greeting cards I’ve titled ‘African Cities’. Here’s a little secret: they were a bit of an accident.


Context is everything

I was working on calendar designs and I was inspired to embark on a side project, taking abstract elements from the drawings I’d created and reinterpreting classic festive themes. Upon experimenting, I realised the beauty of this approach was that the cards could be seen as holiday-specific but, they could also very much work well for any occasion, any time of the year.

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Buy African: Statement Necklaces

Accessories are this girl’s best friend. Drawing them, making them (way back in the day), working with people who design them and of course, wearing them! I love a good pair of dramatic earrings but, when it comes to really making a statement, nothing beats a fabulously bold necklace. These are a few on my wishlist (from top): Pichulik; Nyumbani Design; Mikuti; Pichulik; Dannijo; Christie Brown.


Images via the various online shops linked to above.



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Pins of the Week: Eclectic Global Boho Chic

That mouthful of a title summarises much of what visually turns me on. I think of an abundance of pattern, colour, prints – and wacky combinations of all three! Despite the diversity of traditions and design output, I think it’s interesting to note the similarities when you look at Africa, Asia and Latin America. Similarities in feel and creative energy – i.e. something rather intangible – perhaps, more than anything else.


2 Abacaxi NYC Skirt




6 African-Print-Jekkah-Mens-Shirt-Asos-Africa-Kanga-Top-Trousers


Follow me on Pinterest for more eclectic global boho chic.


Pins – left-right, from top: Photo by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou; fashion from Abacaxi NYC; skirt from Abacaxi NYC; stylish dudes; prints galore; backpack; chairs; men’s top from Jekkah; Asos Africa outfit.



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Design, Music and Good Vibes at Africa Oyé 2014

I spent a wonderful weekend in Liverpool, at the UK’s largest African musical festival, Africa Oyé. This year wasn’t just about soaking up the good music and good vibes (although there was still plenty of that) as I was helping out at the Creativity and Noise + Merkato stall.



It was great to get out of the big city – I love train journeys, exploring new places and taking a breather from the hecticness of London.



I have enormous respect for entrepreneurs who regularly set up at markets and events. It’s demanding work!



This is Laura Marano, the lady behind Merkato (fairly traded homeware and fashion accessories). You may remember her from a popular Afri-love interview where she talked about her other venture, Green-Safari.



Laura and Lusungu Chikamata of Creativity and Noise. All set up and ready to trade!



It was exciting to launch the new Creativity and Noise t-shirts and tote bags, designed by yours truly and hand screenprinted by Lusungu.



Beautiful wares from Merkato. Most made in the Taita-Taveta district of Kenya, where my Dad is from.



Lusungu representing in his new ‘Beat It’ t-shirt. Look for it on the Creativity and Noise shop.



Knit iPhone cases from Merkato.



It was a visual treat checking out what the other vendors had to offer, such as these guords. Right: a Taita basket from Merkato (and the lady who made it!).



I met some fellow Kenyans, Muigai and Anto, who were selling these beaded bangles that had me feeling all patriotic. Kenya and Tanzania represented – perfect!



A wonderful array of colours at Dry Rain, a stall selling Moroccan wares including these leather slippers.



Our neighbouring stall had a massive collection of baskets and other woven goods including these coasters, bangles …



… and mats/rugs.



A funky zebra-print van belonging to a food stall selling all kinds of African game meat, including my beloved crocodile!



Butterfly fridge magnets made from recycled/upcycled flip-flops. From Merkato.



Of course, there was time for dancing.



Me with the Zambians, all representing with our Creativity and Noise tees.



It almost always rains at some point during the Africa Oyé weekend. This year, it didn’t! Blue skies and sunshine throughout. What a bonus?!



All geared up and ready for day 2 of the festival.



We got to watch Joe Driscoll and Jally Kebba Susso  jamming/warming up early on the Sunday morning. The kora on reggae and hip hop tracks sounds amazing!



As usual, the whole experience was a welcome and wonderful assault on the senses.

One of the things I love about Africa Oyé is that there’s no heavy-handed policing. The police and security presence at this festival is surprisingly minimal – you barely notice them. No gates to walk through where every inch of you is checked, no wall of policemen to intimidate. It just goes to show that if you treat people like human beings, they will act like human beings!

At some point on the Sunday, I found myself feeling a little bit teary. I know this is going to sound corny but, I was overwhelmed by just how beautiful the moment was. All kinds of people – ages, races, abilities; all kinds of random acts of kindness going on; people talking to strangers … real, tangible joy!

See you there next year!


Photos by Lulu Kitololo (and a couple courtesy of Lusungu Chikamata), most of them processed with VSCOcam. View even more photos from the weekend, on Facebook.

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Inspired: The ONOMOllywood Photography Project – Hollywood Classics Revisited

ONOMOllywood Frida_by_Omar_Victor_Diop


With glamourous Lupita Nyong’o dominating the Hollywood spotlight, I was reminded of the work of Senegalese fine art and fashion photographer, Omar Victor Diop. Specifically, his collaboration with Antoine Tempé – ‘ONOMOllywood’ – where the two revisit several Holllywood classics, giving them an African twist.

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13 of your Favourite Afri-love Posts in 2013

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading these posts and engaging with me. I’m so happy that this blog has given me a platform to meet so many incredible people; to be continuously inspired and; to share the sometimes tough, but always enlightening, lessons that business and life in general throw my way. I look forward to more great discoveries and learning, new relationships and further exchange in 2014!

For this year’s round-up, I’ve decided to do things a little bit different and feature the posts that were most popular each month. Enjoy.

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TGIF! with the London African African Music Festival 2013 (September 13th – 22nd)




The eclectic and critically acclaimed London African Music Festival returns for an 11th instalment, running from September 13th – 22nd, across 11 venues. 

From Congolese soul to Senegalese rap; from Somali poet to Cuban band; afrobeat, jazz, blues and more. Seriously, it's going to be a hectic 10 days!

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Inspired: Afro Supa Hero – An Upcoming Exhibition at London’s V&A Museum of Childhood

Afro Supa Hero posters

Award-winning Creative Director, Jon Daniel, has curated what is set to be an exciting adventure – the Afro Supa Hero exhibition, running from 14 September 2013 – 9 February 2014, at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. The exhibition will give us an insight into Jon's own experience, as a boy of African Caribbean heritage, growing up in 1960s and 1970s Britain. Jon's collection of action figures, games, comics and other paraphernalia, starring pop culture heroes and heroines of the African diaspora, represent some of the positive black role models he (and many of us, around the world) grew up with. 

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