Inspired: Source – Promoting South African Design in the International Marketplace

1 Source South Africa Product Design Furniture and Decor on Afri-love
2 Source South Africa Product Design on Afri-love
3 Source South Africa Product Design Animals on Afri-love

A few weeks ago I happened across an interesting exhibition of South African product design and crafts, at the Southbank Centre. I discovered that it had been curated by an agency called Source.

Valuing past, present and future

Source works with over 400 design and craft companies in South Africa to promote South African design in the international marketplace. They work with companies that are not only concerned with producing beautiful handmade objects but that are also concerned with preserving traditional handicraft skills and are conscious of their impact on the environment. These companies span a wide range of media including decorative and tabletop ceramics, glass, baskets, woven textiles, felt, Papier-mâché, wire work, felt, embroidery, beadwork, lighting, furniture and accessories.

Source work with several renowned outlets in the West including Anthropologie (which I love), Bergdorf Goodman, The Conran Shop, Liberty, Urban Outfitters, West Elm and more.

Find out more about Source on their website and check out their design partners

Images via the Source website

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Inspired: Provinces of South Africa Illustrations

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I came across these beautiful illustrations through my colleague Kathryn, at Asilia. Visit the fantastic CreativeRoots blog to see more and also check out Radio, the Cape Town agency that made them.

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Don't miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or on Google+.

Inspired: Photography by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou (& Upcoming Exhibitions in Jo’Burg and London)

Leonce-Raphael-Agbodjelou-Photography-Afri-love-1

Continue reading “Inspired: Photography by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou (& Upcoming Exhibitions in Jo’Burg and London)”

Dispatches from Africa Utopia: It’s Complicated

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"Africa is all too often written off as an intractable "problem" for the world to solve. I hope this festival will reveal just some of what Africa has to offer the rest of the world: the energy of our youth and their desire to engage with the world; the transformative potential of culture and, perhaps most potently, the power of community to bind people together."

 – Africa Utopia Co-curator, Baaba Maal

Indeed the festival's main question was, in what ways can the continent lead the way in thinking about culture, community, sustainability and ethical wealth creation? In short, what can the rest of the world learn from Africa?

Continue reading “Dispatches from Africa Utopia: It’s Complicated”

Be Part of the Story: Kickstart ‘My Africa Is’

My-Africa-Is-Kickstarter-Campaign

Stories about our continent and our experience are often distorted (if not totally untold) – and it's to be expected when the agents telling the tales are far removed. My Africa Is is a documentary series that aims to show a more complete narrative. Starting this autumn, the crew will embark on a 13 city, 10 country tour of our continent, spending time with young people who want to share the exciting things they're doing to improve their communities. 

Continue reading “Be Part of the Story: Kickstart ‘My Africa Is’”

3 Years of Afri-love: Top Posts from the Last Year

I am embarassed to say that Afri-love's 3rd anniversary just slipped by me! On June 11th, I was on a train back from London after modelling in the Shape Custom Creations Afrika Milele show (one of the most exciting fashion shows I've experienced – the epitomé of good vibes!). In my exhaustion, I forgot what a great moment it was.

As they say, better late than never. It's quite timely actually because, after 2 months or so of travelling, returning, catching up and getting back to 'normal' routine, I'm finally back in the groove of things. You may have noticed that post frequency is starting to pick up again! It's fitting that we get things going with, first, some thanks – a HUGE THANK YOU for reading and interacting with me, here on the blog, by subscribing and via Twitter and Facebook too – it all makes this labour of love so much more satisfying and; second, a little reflection with a look at the top 5 posts from the past year. In reverse order:

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5. Interview with furniture designer Yinka Ilori

A great story about pursuing your passion, no matter the naysayers!

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4. African inspiration on Pinterest from artist Robyn Gordon

Regular readers will know just how obsessed I am with Pinterest (see for yourself). Robyn Gordon is somebody you have to follow.

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3. Interview with feminist activist Amina Doherty

The passionate Amina, aka sheroxlox, is one of the lovliest people I've had the honour to meet in recent years. Find out what drives her. 

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2. Interview with fashion designer Adele Dejak

I've been working with the East Africa-based designer for a little over a year now and I feel so lucky to be collaborating with somebody who creates beautiful things and has such a good spirit too. Today marks the launch of her new website and online shop, created by yours truly and the rest of the Asilia team.

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1. Dream Homes: Swahili-inspired architecture and interior design in Lamu, Kenya

One day I will finally visit Lamu in person (and hopefully before the new port is built as, I worry that it will change the nature of the town). Until then, I will lust over all the beautiful homes I've discovered, thanks to my best friend, the internet. More Lamu finds on the blog.

What posts did you enjoy most over the past 12 months?

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For the newbies – check out the top 3 most popular Afri-love posts of all time: 

  1. Interview with Fashion Stylist and Blogger, Nancie Mwai
  2. Natural Hair Journey: 10 Months after the Big Chop
  3. 5 Reasons why Ghana will be the next African App Powerhouse – a guest post from Afriapps founder and my Asilia co-conspirator, Andrew Mugoya

Baskets of Africa as Wall Art

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I spotted a great home decor idea via Pinterest – using African baskets as wall art. 

Thinking of trying it out? Get the look with the help of online shop, Baskets of Africa. They have an amazing collection that spans creations from Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, all handmade and fair trade. Here are some of my favourites in neutral colour combinations.

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View more interior and architectural inspiration on my Places and Spaces board on Pinterest.

Images via Lolita (left) and Elle Decor. Thanks to fellow pinners AphroChic and Gathoni for putting the idea on my radar. 

TGIF! Miss Lira

Lira singer

Lira Return to Love Album

South Africa songstress, Lerato Molapo, better known as Lira, doesn't want to be boxed into being a particular kind of artist. She fuses funk, ragga, urban, traditional African sounds, kwaito, pop and soul.

With album titles like "All my Love", "Feel Good", "Soul in Mind" and her most recent "Return to Love", she's the perfect person to celebrate with this on this Friday right after International Women's Day. Love is powerful!

 


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