Let’s Celebrate All the Makers in Africa!

Words of the Day:

Makers: These are people who take a traditional-old aged techniques of crafting and apply new technologies to create contemporary culture which focuses on art, crafts and creativity. The Maker Movement represents a more collaborative, creative economic model for the future and was declared an Emerging Mega-Trend in 2015. – Courtesy of Lionesses of Africa

Naturalism: Those who have a love for organic, naturally made, non-toxic products. – Coined by Nanjala

We would like to herald the remarks from an article on Lionesses of Africa that mentioned the need to celebrate women ‘Maker’ entrepreneurs in Africa for their contribution in harnessing the power of technology to build businesses.  Indeed, the arts, crafts and cottage industry across this continent has gained economic significance in the last decade.

It is no secret that people today are now going back to their roots. From people searching for a classy but vintage style in flee markets to high end designer wear stores, to contemporary artists appreciating deriving inspiration from laborious old traditional techniques in printing or handcrafting.

These intrinsic forms of ‘going back into time’ are really significant; and in truth should not be mistaken for a fad nor brushed aside as a purely random occurrence in our history.

So, why are we focused on celebrating Makers today?

Well, a lot has happened in the past millennia, and one of the most significant occurrence has been humanitys’ concern with Climate Change. Another is the related health issues and the concerns of many people across the world starting to have ‘Lifestyle diseases’ eg Obesity, heart attacks (early in life), cancers etc. Science and innovation are in the fore to finding solutions to our futures problems. Though we aren’t experts in any of the aforementioned concerns, we curiously feel that they are if not related, co-related to Design.  We will attempt to describe how all these concerns are impacting Design today and perhaps as a consequence, enlighten the public on our opinion on why Makers more than ever are being celebrated.

Take the example of Climate Change. This concern has been brought about by humanity emitting tons of hazardous toxins and in turn polluting our environment. Over time, this has changed climate patterns, and is posing to be a catastrophic effect on our planet. There is a definate concern on humanities future.

As a consequence, there is a lot of innovation around exploring Recycling of materials e.g. Reuse of plastic and scrap metal waste that is produced. A great example of a brand recycling leather is our very own collaborator BlackFly, they make high end bags and accessories using genuine leather from ‘mitumba’ (second hand) jackets sold in open markets.  We applaud their efforts of contributing to minimising the amount of waste as well as finding new, clever uses for the leather that would otherwise have been thrown away or dumped. In this light we applaud all those making a contribution as eco/sustainable industrialists, ceramists, scrap metal sculptures & jewellery.

Another significant yet underestimated potential is the emergence of Naturalism.  The retail potential for Naturalism is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Especially for this part of the world where we enjoy rich natural resources and good climate to grow cash crops. We are talking plants whose oils are extracted to feed the ‘ever-ballooning’ beauty and hair care industry. Fabrics such as wool, cotton. Hides of exotic animals e.g. crocodile, snake and camel. We are talking about authentic precious metals & stones sourced ethically. Not to mention flora and fauna in their natural form buy viagra without prescription. And the immense value/benefits that plants bring, be it medicinal, aesthetic or just good karma! Startling how even a succulents like the Snake plant (Mother-in-Law Tongue) is a air purifier and claims to give off oxygen at night!

We think that indeed, there is no better time than now to start being a Maker or supporting one, for that matter. If you’d like to back your thoughts with action, check out our collaborators list and choose whom you wish to support. Everything is ethically sourced, and the designer gets full accreditation. What’s more, by buying their products you get to support our very own Kenyan Makers!


NB: For those who have picked up knitting, macramé, lithography or any such craft that needs an outlet to showcase and potentially sell their wares, we are happy to have a chat and see if we can have your ‘made’ item on our online shelve. Feel free to contact us on hello@shopnanjala.com. We Crave Great Design. Nothing Less.







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