The short version

If I can sum up the essence of what Afri-love is about, it’s about loving yourself and the freedom to be yourself.

In less “fluffy” terms,  Afri-love empowers African and diaspora creatives to be true to themselves in creating the businesses and lives they want.

This involves:

  • Business – practical tips and tools: to empower you to express what you have to offer in an authentic and remarkable way; to reach the audiences who want to hear from you; to make a living doing what you love.
  • Buy African – to promote creatives and creative brands, so that we can support each other’s growth.
  • Creativity – curating exciting examples of African and diaspora creativity, to feed our imagination and excitement.
  • Interviews – sharing the stories of the people behind them, to keep us inspired and encouraged.
  • Lifestyle – mostly anecdotes and snapshots from my own life, as I work on designing the life I want to live. Also, some escapist inspiration, so that we may continue to dream.
  • Wellness — sharing ideas for taking care of ourselves, because, without good health, nothing else is possible.

This May, I’m running the Soulful Branding Challenge – a free 5-day mini branding course to plant authentic, robust roots for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or feeling a need to breathe some new life into your brand. Find out more and sign up here.

The long version

I started this blog as an outlet for all the fabulous African-made or African-inspired creative production that I constantly come across. The thought was, how can we Africans have such collective low self-esteem when we are capable of creating acts and works of such beauty (whether to do with the arts, design, innovation or activating positive change)? What are the negative results of this self-deprecation? What amazing things could we do if we started practising more self-love?

This was the reasoning behind the blog’s first tag line, Be proud. Be inspired. At the time, I crafted an Afri-love philosophy that you can read here.

I would often go on about how everything “starts with self”. This was something that I was appreciating more and more in my personal life. From an early age, I felt compelled to somehow change the world and better the lives of others. When I entered into a professional environment with this as the mission, and fell into a horrible work-life balance. I realised that ultimately, I had to start with being okay myself. I had to take care of myself first, before I could truly be of service to others. Though this consciousness inspired me to act, to change my circumstances, over the next few years my body – and mind – would give me signals that they weren’t yet getting the care they needed.

Everything is connected. Over the years, the blog has evolved as I have evolved, grown and become clearer about how I want to live and what I want to do with my time.

2017 has brought the most clarity yet. After over 10 years helping clients all over the world create and develop their brands, I want to share the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired in a different way. Over the last 8 years, my business has become known as a go-to design studio for contemporary graphic design with a fresh African sensibility.

Now, I want to help many many more African and diaspora brands to achieve this. Working with them on a one-on-one basis isn’t feasible, due to time, cost and energy restraints. That’s why I’ve decided to use Afri-love as a platform to share inspiring stories, knowledge, resources and products, that can reach more people.

Get more Afri-love

Afri-love emails

The best way to get the most from Afri-love is by signing up to the email list. You can expect to receive “Afri-love lately,” a weekly rundown of interesting, inspiring and useful bite-size snippets, to do with the blog’s main themes – business, buying African, creativity, interviews + stories, lifestyle and wellness. These emails include extra content that’s not on the blog, as well as special announcements, offers and more. Sign up here and access some exclusive goodies too.

This May, I’m running the Soulful Branding Challenge – a free 5-day mini branding course to plant authentic, robust roots for your business. Whether you’re just starting out or feeling a need to breathe some new life into your brand. Find out more and sign up here.

Afri-love women

Afri-love Women is a private Facebook group. It exists as a safe space for real talk, for those who identify themselves as creative, African, women… who care as much about professional excellence, as they do about health and wellness. If this sounds like you, join us! Request your invitation here.

Afri-love Facebook page

Here is where I share interesting things that I come across, day-to-day, including relevant events and articles, as well as updates from the blog.

Afri-love on Instagram

If you’re a visual person, this is the best way to stay up to date with the latest blog posts and Afri-love happenings.

Afri-love on Pinterest

I’ve curated several Afri-related Pinterest boards, covering the arts, design and more!

About me

I’m Lulu Kitololo, an artist and designer and, you guessed it, Africa is my main muse!

I own and serve as creative director of Lulu Kitololo Studio, providing illustration and graphic design services. Our style is vibrant, eclectic and largely African inspired. I’ve been working in the creative industry for over 10 years with various types of clients including international NGOs, museums,  film festivals, fashion brands, musicians, theatres, writers and more.

In 2014, I started concentrating on more self-directed projects which, has led to a line of paper and fabric goods which include greeting cards, art prints and more (you can follow this journey daily on Instagram).

I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and left my beloved continent to pursue a BFA in Communications Design from Pratt Institute in New York and then an MA in African Studies from SOAS, University of London. Pretty different directions! That’s the reaction I usually get but I always knew there was a grand plan at work (even thought it was a while before it revealed itself to me). Afri-love and Lulu Kitololo Studio are ever-evolving culminations of these journeys and I can honestly say that I love what I do!

Don’t know where to start? Why not begin with The Afri-love List.

Photo by Joe Were, taken at Jollyboys in Livingstone, Zambia. T-shirt designed by yours truly for Creativity and Noise.