8 Amazing African Artists To Look Out For

From visual arts to music, literature to fashion, the African continent continues to give birth to extraordinary talent that captivates the world. In this blog post, I invite you to embark on a journey through the fascinating and inspiring world of African artistry.

Let me introduce you to eight incredible African artists who are making waves, breaking boundaries, and reshaping the artistic landscape.

  1. LAYO BRIGHT

This brand captures art gracefully using glasswork, In the world of art and creative expression, there are individuals who shine brightly, transforming ordinary materials into extraordinary masterpieces. Layo Bright, a talented artist and glasswork extraordinaire, is one such luminary. With a delicate touch and a keen eye for detail, Layo has mastered the art of capturing beauty, emotion, and imagination through the medium of glass.

2. RONKE SCOTT

Ronke scott captivates her audience using unique canvas and artwork to tell African stories. Ronke Scott is one such artist who masterfully captures the essence of African narratives through her unique canvases and mesmerizing artwork. With each stroke of her brush, she breathes life into the untold tales of the continent.

Her isn’t confined to traditional boundaries. She delves into uncharted territory, experimenting with different mediums and techniques to convey the rich ambiance of African culture, history, and diversity. Her work is a vivid tapestry of colors, emotions, and experiences, which come together to tell stories that resonate with both the African audience and those who admire the continent from afar.

3. ARTINI

Artini, a proudly Nigerian-owned brand, is one such shining star in the world of craftsmanship. Their unique and imaginative use of nails and strings transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary, resulting in stunning mirrors, captivating wall clocks, and exquisite center tables that redefine the concept of functional art. Artini is not just about decor; it’s about celebrating the beauty that can be found in the most unexpected places, and the brand’s creations are a true testament to the power of art to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

4. LANRE OLAGOKE

In the heart of London, a dynamic force in the art world emerges – Lanre Olagoke, a celebrated Nigerian artist whose creative genius knows no bounds. With his brush and canvas, Lanre has become a bridge, connecting the rich culture of his Nigerian heritage with the cosmopolitan energy of London. His works are a testament to the fusion of cultures and ideas, a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. Through his brushstrokes, he captures the essence of life, the vibrant spirit of his homeland, and the dynamic influences of his London base. His canvases are windows to a world where imagination takes flight, where color and form dance in harmony, and where stories are told in strokes of brilliance.

5. ART BY SPECTABILIS

This creative uses his brand for advocacy and awareness. Creativity isn’t limited to aesthetic expression alone; it can also be a powerful tool for advocacy and raising awareness. One such luminary who exemplifies this artistic approach is Art by Spectabilis. Through their creations, this artist shed light on important issues, sparking conversations and championing causes that demand our attention.

6. 5AND10 KRAFTZONE

Art knows no bounds, and 5and10 Kraftzone is a testament to the boundless possibilities of creativity. This enigmatic creative spirit is a master of diverse artistic expressions, from sculpting life into inanimate materials to folding paper into intricate origami masterpieces and weaving stories through the entwining strings of string art. With 5and10 Kraftzone, there is no limit to the artistic horizons explored. Every creation is a unique exploration of the artist’s vision, a glimpse into a world where materials transform into emotions, and imagination takes shape in myriad forms.

7. DOTUN DAVID POPOOLA

He calls himself the envirornmentalist. and this is showcased in his artwork. Dotun’s art is more than just visual appeal; it’s a powerful medium for environmental consciousness. Through his brushstrokes and creativity, he paints a vivid picture of the challenges our planet faces. His work showcases the beauty of nature, the threats it endures, and the urgent need for environmental conservation. His work is a testament to the power of art in bringing about change and advocating for a more sustainable future.

8. JOSEPH DAIRO

There are those whose creative voices not only resonate but also echo through time, leaving a lasting impact on those who are fortunate enough to experience their work. Joseph Dairo is one such luminary whose artistic journey has not only earned him accolades but has also become a powerful means of storytelling that illuminates the African experience.

With numerous awards adorning his brand, Joseph Dairo is more than just an artist; he’s a maestro of African narratives. His work is a canvas where history, culture, and contemporary issues converge to weave stories that are both timeless and deeply relevant. Through his art, he doesn’t merely paint pictures; he narrates the experiences, aspirations, and challenges of a diverse and multifaceted continent.

CONCLUSION

As we celebrate the amazing African artists and their profound, innovative, and impactful work, let their art be a source of inspiration for us all. Let us be moved by their stories, and let them encourage us to explore our own creative potentials, to advocate for what we believe in, and to use the power of art to make a positive difference in our world. In the end, art is not just a product; it’s a journey, a conversation, a catalyst for change, and a testament to the enduring beauty and boundless imagination of the human spirit.

The Evolution, An Exhibition Of African Lusture

the evolution

Jopee Dairo, the creative force behind THE EVOLUTION, is on a mission to bring change and shed light on the rich artistic heritage of the African people. This event is more than just an exhibition; it’s a platform that showcases the evolution of African art and culture.

Jopee Dairo is not just a visual artist but a storyteller, using various digital and mixed media forms to narrate tales from the African perspective. His inspiration is rooted in the greatness of the Black race and the untold stories that lie beneath the surface.

At THE EVOLUTION event, attendees can expect a captivating experience filled with intriguing, educational, and fascinating works of art. These pieces are not merely for purchase but also forging connections and rekindling memories of the goodness that has been lost and the promising future that lies ahead. Click here to register.

Here is an interview session with Jopee Dairo.

ABOUT JOPEE DAIRO

1. What inspired you to become a digital artist?

Ans: Firstly, My name is Gbemisola Joseph Dairo popularly known as Jopee Dairo; I am a Visual Artist with a uniqueness in telling stories from the African perspective using all forms of Digital and Mixed Media. I was inspired by the greatness of the Black race and the untold stories that lie beneath.

2. Can you describe your artistic style and how it has evolved over the years?

Ans: I am a mixed media artist who paints ideas to life with the digital use of African fabric patterns such as Kente, Adinkra, and Ankara. Over the years my Art has moved from mere creation of Artworks using black photography to telling untold stories about the greatness of motherland Africa.

3. What themes or concepts do you explore in your digital art?

Ans: Societal values, history, and change.

4. Are there any artists or influencers who have had a significant impact on your work?

Ans: Yes. These are the likes of Bisa Butler, Mayowa Lawal, and Mayowa Alabi.

5. How do you incorporate African culture and heritage into your digital art?

Ans: Africa is Art and Art is Africa. Photography has been my greatest tool as it gives me the limitless freedom I need to create compelling stories with my Art.

6. Can you share your creative process from idea to finished artwork?

Ans: From the point of conception, I do rough sketches on paper, do research, and prepare my storyboard, and then I relate with my photographer based on the concept. Once we come to terms, we get model(s) who we share the idea with and once that works, we proceed to shoot photography. The last part is when I get to do my digital edit, print, and put off for sale.

7. What challenges have you faced as a digital artist, and how did you overcome them?

Ans: One of the major challenges is finding inspiration not just to create but to continue. Other challenges are in the areas of affording gadgets, power supply, and understanding the markets.

I have found comfort in sharing my challenges with established artists or models whom I look up to in the business of Arts and Creativity. A problem shared is half solved, right? I am not there yet, but I am overcoming my challenges gradually.

8. What achievements or milestones in your career are you most proud of?

Ans: Having my work nominated for best documentary at the African Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2023, featuring on a project with Ghana’s renowned Glenn Samm, and partnering at the BellAfricana UK Summer Pop-up 2023. I am quite proud of being the only Nigerian in my category and being one of the very few Nigerians to be nominated for the Accra Music and Arts Award 2023.

9. Do you have a favorite piece of artwork that holds special meaning to you?

Ans: Yes I do, and that will be “Wails of a Mother”, a project I did in collaboration with Ghana’s Journalist and Model coach; Titus Dhoku.

10. How can art enthusiasts and collectors connect with you and acquire your digital art pieces?

Ans: I can connect with you on my social media platforms at iamjopeedairo.

ABOUT THE EVOLUTION

1. What inspired you to organize THE EVOLUTION, and what is its overarching mission?

Ans: Change. The mission is to showcase the rich artistic heritage of the African people and how we have evolved.

2. Can you provide an overview of what attendees can expect at the event?

Ans: Everyone should come to the Evolution expecting to see intriguing, educating, and fascinating works of art. These are Arts that they are not just compelled to buy but connect with and spur memories of goodness that have been lost and the better end that fast approaches.

3. How did you select the participating artists and their collections for the exhibition?

Ans: The participating artists are those who have been found with a like mind backed with some indigenous taste in Arts, even in the uniqueness of their styles.

4. What role do you believe events like THE EVOLUTION play in promoting African art and creativity?

Ans: Events like this are pivotal to spreading the awareness of African culture and the dignity that comes with it.

5. Can you share any highlight or unique features of THE EVOLUTION that make it a must-attend event?

Ans: This event is the first of its kind on the mainland of Lagos, Nigeria with international attention in Europe and about five (5) other African countries. The event sets a new standard for artists, photographers, and stakeholders in the creative space in Africa and the diaspora.

6. Are there specific goals or messages you aim to convey through this event?

Ans: Yes there are. Change, standard, freedom, and the endless possibilities that avail for the black race irrespective of the misconceptions of the past or the present are key ideas we aim to preach.

7. How can businesses and organizations benefit from attending THE EVOLUTION?

Ans: We have sponsorships, partnerships, and vendor opportunities for brands and businesses that we will in turn showcase to our audience.

8. Are there any notable speakers or workshops planned during the event?

Ans: No, it’s not an event for workshops, however, there will be lots to learn as exhibitors and brands engage the audience.

9. What steps have you taken to ensure a memorable and immersive experience for the attendees?

Ans: We’ve got a conducive location in the heart of Lagos, music that resonates with the theme of the event, and maximum security.

11. How do you envision the future of THE EVOLUTION and its impact on the creative community?

Ans: The Evolution is a concept that will shift paradigms and change the narratives of the Arts and creative space in Africa.

12. How can individuals interested in attending or supporting the event get involved or obtain tickets?

Ans: All information needed regarding this will be made available on our Instagram page @iamjopeedairo including attendants’ forms as it is a free-to-attend but registration-compulsive event.

Jopee Dairo’s artistic style is a blend of mixed media, where he brings ideas to life using digital techniques and incorporates African fabric patterns such as Kente, Adinkra, and Ankara. His artistic journey has evolved from creating art using black photography to delving deeper into the untold stories that celebrate the greatness of Africa, the motherland. Through his work, he aims to not only create art but also to convey the narratives and histories that often go unheard. This event promises to be very interesting and specifically to help creative brands. Click here to register.

 

Bellafricana Brings African Creativity to Oxford Street, London with a Spectacular Summer Pop-Up Event

bellafricana summer pop up UK

Bellafricana, the renowned tech-enabled community organization that celebrates and enables creative entrepreneurs, is thrilled to announce its highly anticipated Summer Pop-Up Event in Oxford Street, London.

After seven successful years of fostering connections and promoting African craftsmanship in Nigeria, Bellafricana is now ready to captivate the hearts of Londoners with an extraordinary showcase of African talent and their creativity to promote non-oil export in Africa.

The Summer Pop-Up London Event will take place over seven exciting days, from Monday, the 31st of July to Sunday, the 6th of August, at a prime location in London, Oxford Street, Central London (Europe’s busiest shopping street). This exclusive event will bring together a curated selection of the finest African brands, offering a captivating array of handcrafted products across various categories, including fashion, accessories, home decor, beauty, and more.

With a proven track record of hosting six major pop-up events in Nigeria, Bellafricana has gained a reputation for curating exceptional collections that embody the spirit of Africa. This Summer Pop-Up Event in London promises to be a celebration of African culture, craftsmanship, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Attendees will have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrancy of African creativity. From intricately woven textiles to bold and contemporary designs, each product tells a story and reflects the rich heritage and diversity of the African continent. Engage with passionate creators, hear the inspiration behind their works, and discover the remarkable talents that Bellafricana’s community represents.

“Our vision at Bellafricana is to showcase the beauty and innovation that Africa possesses,” says Bukky Asehinde, Founder and CEO of Bellafricana, a Nigerian zero oil export Ambassador. “We are thrilled to bring our Summer Pop-Up Event to London, a city renowned for its love of creativity and diverse cultural experiences. Our aim is to bridge the gap between African creatives and the global market, while offering Londoners a unique and authentic shopping experience.” Bellafricana is endorsed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Federal Government of Nigeria Apex Institution for the promotion, development and diversification of export.

By attending the Bellafricana Summer Pop-Up London Event, patrons not only support and empower African creative entrepreneurs but also gain access to exclusive, handcrafted products that are often hard to find elsewhere. Each purchase made at the event contributes to the growth and sustainability of the creative community, making a tangible impact on the lives of talented individuals and their communities.

Bellafricana’s Summer Pop-Up London Event is a must-attend for fashion enthusiasts, interior design aficionados, art lovers, and anyone seeking distinctive and ethically made products with a story to tell. Join us as we redefine the narrative around African craftsmanship, promote cultural exchange, and celebrate the ingenuity of creative entrepreneurs.

Click here to STOP “N” SHOP a piece of Africa at Bellafricana Summer Pop-Up London on Oxford Street.

Event Details:

● Event Name: Bellafricana Summer Pop-Up London

● Dates: July 31 to August 6

● Venue: 58 Oxford St, London W1D 1BH For more information about Bellafricana and the Summer Pop-Up Event,

Please visit [www.bellafricana.com], register as a vendor at [www.bellafriana.com/pop-up-London], get your free tickets to attend the event here, for partnerships or sponsorship email [[email protected]], stay updated on the latest news and updates by following Bellafricana on social media [@bell_africana, @bellafricanauk].

About Bellafricana:

Bellafricana is a tech-enabled community organization that promotes and enables creative entrepreneurs in Africa. Founded in 2016, Bellafricana serves as a platform to showcase the beauty and innovation of African craftsmanship, connecting creative African-owned businesses with a global audience. Through pop-up events, online platforms, and community engagement, Bellafricana celebrates the diversity, heritage, and entrepreneurial spirit of Africa.

Media Contact: Name: Bukky Asehinde, Position: Founder/CEO, Email Address: [email protected], Phone Number: +44 (0) 800 001 6502

Meet The Founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle

Meet the founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle Ifeyinwa Brendan-Ndukwu exclusive interview on Bellafricana

Ever since she was a little girl she fell in love with fashion. Her curiosity and love turned into a passion and she made her own dreams come through by starting her business Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle.

Let’s meet another Bellafricana member, the founder of LILIFEY’S FASHION AND LIFESTYLE;

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name Ifeyinwa Brendan-Ndukwu, the Founder, Creative Director/CEO of LILIFEYS FASHION AND LIFESTYLE. I am from Imo State but married to BRENDAN-NDUKWU from Anambra State. I am a graduate of English Language/Literature but presently into Fashion.

Meet The Founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean?

My Brand name LILIFEYS’ is a combination of my second name LILIAN and my first name, IFEYINWA. LILIFEYS is a reflection on what fashion means to me… Stylish, Trendy, Comfortable and Affordable. Coincidentally that’s what most women cherish.

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

As a young girl I love dresses and my curiosity into how dresses are led to my fascination and passion for dressmaking. By observation and divine ordination I started making dresses by myself with just needle and thread. My dresses gradually developed into beautiful dresses that attracted people’s attention and they started ordering dresses from me.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

My niche is ‘Comfortable women wear’. I believe that a woman should be comfortable and happy in her clothes and not struggle or sustain body injuries while wearing a dress.

Also Read: Meet The Founder of Miel Clothing [Exclusive Interview]

Where do you get the inspiration for your products

My inspiration are mostly divinely ordained… I receive inspirations for most of my designs in my dreams. I am also highly inspired by nature around me such as the sky, vegetations and the woman’s body shapes.

Can you remember one of the first products you made or service you started? What makes it memorable?

The products I made as a young girl were for my Baby dolls but as an adult I remember making this lovely sleeveless, boat neckline with a gathered low waistline maxi dress with Nichem wax, sewn with needle and dress. I made this dress while I was still an undergraduate in the university. 

What made this dress memorable was that it fit me so well that it attracted a lot of attention. People started noticing my sewing and my style of dressmaking. In fact my Late Mum had to buy a Hand Sewing machine to help facilitate my sewing because according to her…”why are you suffering yourself my dear daughter sewing dresses with needle and thread?”

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

Some of the challenges I face in my business is high cost of production resulting from epileptic supply of electricity and high cost of powering generators. Not having enough local textiles industries for consistent design print production. Relying on importation of fabrics makes the prices of the materials exorbitant as well as non available of some materials over time. Another challenge I face is lack of expertise of the Labour. Most times when they are trained instead of staying back to work they leave. This results in low production capacity some times.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

No no, I don’t have any regrets venturing into this line of business. Fashion Designs and Dressmaking are like oxygen for me. This is one vocation I carry out effortlessly!

What is your most popular product?

Circle pants.

Meet the founder of Lilifeys fashion and lifestyle, exclusive interview of bellafricana member

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

To a large extent, my African heritage has a lot of influence on my work. I used a lot of handwoven and hand-dyed fabrics for my clothes.

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My short term goal is to consistently meet the needs of my local customers satisfactorily. My long term goal is to export my products internationally to Europe, America, Canada, and South Korea.

What would people be surprised to learn about you

People would be surprised to know that I was a Secondary school English Language and English Phonetics Teacher .

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

Food vendor/ Caterer

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

The advise I would give to anyone starting out in the Fashion industry is to have a good knowledge of the art of Fashion designs and dressmaking so as not to be caught on the level of mediocrity. To succeed in this industry ‘good is not enough when best is possible!’

To connect and meet the founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: lilifeys_fashion1

Whatsapp: +2349064774851

Meet The Founder of Miel Clothing

Meet the founder of Miel Clothing Olatunde-Oyinkansola-Bellafricana Member
She started her brand because she needed extra money, but along the line, she grew to love the business due to her desire and love for styling people, mixing colors and basically expressing her creativity without restrain.

Let’s meet another Bellafricana member, the founder of Miel Clothing;

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name is Olatunde Oyinkansola, textile designer and creative director of Miel Clothing. I’m from Ijebu ode, Ogun state but based in Ilesha, Osun state .

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

During my NYSC, I needed a side hustle aside my 9-5 job. I actually started Miel Clothing because I needed extra money, but along the line, I grew to love the business due to my desire and love for styling people, mixing colors and basically expression my creativity without constraint. Miel Clothing is a fashion brand that produces indigenous African prints popularly known as Adire or batik or Tie & Dye in the Yoruba language. We’re a textile design industry that produces handmade African prints. We make different types of outfits and ready to wear ranging from t-shirt, sweat shirt, hoodie, two piece and fabrics. We produce in large quantities for Aso Ebi and  fashion brands while also train people both online and offline on the art and creativity of Adire.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

My niche is Afrocentric fashion brand. At first I started for money but I fell in love with art, nature and African culture. I didn’t know it was the niche to get into at first because Adire is versatile; but inspired by my passion for Afrocentric culture and art, I ventured into it in order to blend the indigenous culture and western culture to birth a unique piece of art never seen before.

Also Read: Meet The Founder of Zone A Creations [Exclusive Interview]

Where do you get the inspiration for your products
I get inspirations from nature, tv shows, colors, co textile designers, after which I redesign it to suit my brand niche.

Can you remember one of the first products you made or service you started? What makes it memorable?

The first product I made was “the sunshine tee”; which was inspired by Johnny Drille’s song “shine”. The shirt was memorable because prior to its design, I was going through depression and somehow, I found someone who brought me out of it. The tee shirt has two colors, black and yellow. The black represents my darkest time while the yellow represents a light that came into my darkness; the person that brought me out of my depression. It was also one of my best sellers after it was designed and released

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

My biggest challenge would be a target audience for my brand; getting the right audience who need my products. Another challenge would also be funding and getting a team to help.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

Yes, there were times I regretted venturing into this line of business due to lack of funding and inability to capture a new audience; as it felt like I was advertising to the same sets of people when I wanted to reach out to new people.

What is your most popular product?

At the moment, I would say tye dye hoodies and sweatshirt.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

My brand is focused on blending indigenous culture and western culture, there African heritage plays an important role as we’re trying to portray the beauty of Africa and the African culture to the western world in a fashionable way

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My goal is to have my fabrics and products displayed in fashion houses locally and internationally, as well as worn by models during a fashion runway show in one of the biggest fashion shows globally. I’d also love to impact people by teaching the act of Adire and batik making both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Another goal is to expand my business, have a team and reach a larger audience..

What would people be surprised to learn about you

That my brand isn’t focused on profit but on impact; promoting the values and sustainability of African prints.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

A teacher due to my passion for impacting positive values on people, especially children.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

My number one advise for anyone would be patience. Don’t rush because adire making requires a patient person who can wait for the outcome to be beautiful, for the colors to mix and for designs to come out well. Growing the business may also take time but if you’re consistent in promoting your brand, you will definitely succeed.

Meet the founder of Miel Clothing Olatunde-Oyinkansola-Bellafricana Member
Meet the founder of Miel Clothing Olatunde-Oyinkansola-Bellafricana Member
Meet the founder of Miel Clothing, Bellafricana Member

To connect with the founder Miel Clothing,  you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Mielclothing_

Whatsapp: 08142938063

Meet the Founder of Olivs Botanical [Exclusive Interview]

Meet the member of Olivs Botanical Bellafricana Exclusive Interview of Bellafricana Member

She used to buy a lot of candles from a store when she was a teenager and told herself that one day she will own her brand. With no idea of how to get started, yet relentlessly she kept saying it and working towards it.

Fast forward to today, she now owns one of the fast growing luxury home fragrance brands in Nigeria.

She is the founder of Olivs Botanical.  Let’s meet her

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name is Olivia Edwards  and I am the founder of Olivs Botanicals

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

Olivs Botanical is a self-love and selfless brand, which was birth out of the need to raise funds to touch the lives of the motherless home babies, the old people’s home, the widows, the girl child and the mental health care. 10% of our proceeds goes into this project.

It gives us joy and fulfillment to be to give back to the society by putting smile, laughter in the faces of people and by showing love /kindness. With this passion in our hearts, we started our company, by setting our intentions and focusing on our visions, values and mission. As a Natural Botanical Ayurveda Brand, we pride ourselves in bringing the best internationally made products to our clients.

Also Read: Meet The Founder of Aso Ibile Mi [Exclusive Interview]

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean?

The brand Oliv Botanical was birth out of my Intuition. Olivs means peace and friendship, botanical had to do with natural conscious clean skincare

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

We have our niche in the Home and Living category. We focus on making diffusers and scent candles. Our brand touches all categories in our collections. Most clients will fine something to buy from our collections. We made it in such a way, to create something for everyone in our brand collections

Where do you get the inspiration for your products

I use to buy a lot of candles from a store when I was a teenager and I told myself that one day I will own my brand. I didn’t really know how it was going to happen , but I kept saying it and working towards it.

Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?

Yes, i made a candle and some natural bar soaps What made it memorable, it was a gift for my mum

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

The major challenge is lack of funding.  More so, sourcing from middle men and the high cost of machines used for production are reoccurring setbacks.

Another one is getting the right companies for printing and packing.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

Not at all, am passionate about our brand and how far we have come, truly grateful

What is your most popular product?

Honestly I really can’t pick one, but from the top of head diffusers, candles and our natural bar soaps

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

I could say that there is about 50% reflection of my  African heritage on my brands and product.

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My short term goal is to complete the branding collections for Olivs botanical. Our long term goal is to touch as many lives as we can possibly touch, as we continue to give back to the society. We also desire to build a brand that is suitable and eco friendly, that will stand the taste of time.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I am a very shy person

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

I will still choose this profession any time any may be a care giver.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?
It’s important that you have a mentor someone. who have got experiences to guide you.  I have had my fair share of experiences and have learnt through it to get to where I am today as a brand. Finally, Love your journey, be patient with the process and make sure your passionate about the business you do

Meet the founder of Olivs Botanical, exclusive interview on Bellafricana, Bellafricana member

Meet the founder of Olivs Botanical, exclusive interview on Bellafricana, Bellafricana member
Meet the founder of Olivs Botanical, exclusive interview on Bellafricana, Bellafricana member

To connect with the founder of Olivs Botanical, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Olivsbotanical

Whatsapp: 09022236994

Meet the Founder of Kunbi’s Music [Exclusive Interview]

Meet the founder of Kunbi Music exclusive interview on Bellafricana

Meet the founder of Kunbi Music exclusive interview on Bellafricana

She left her career in IT consulting and delved into an early years music education franchise in the UK in order to have better control of her time to raise her children. She is currently the founder of Kunbi’s music, Let’s meet her.

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name is Kunbi Osinoiki, a music educator passionate about positively transforming lives, young and old, by providing structured and enjoyable music learning experiences. I am married to Sola Osinoiki and we have three grown up children.

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

My first degree was in Economics from the University of Manchester, followed by an MBA from the University of Liverpool but I started learning to play the piano when I was five years old. I was able to draw on my musical background to launch a career in music education many years later when I started having children. I decided to leave my career in IT consulting and buy into an Early Years music education franchise in the UK in order to have better control of my schedule so I could pick up my young son from school. I eventually sold my UK business and set up Kunbi’s Music Company in Nigeria 12 years later. Today we provide music education services to individuals, groups and schools both within and outside Nigeria. In the last few months, I also set up the SME Tech Coach, where I help coach CEOs of small businesses on how to transform their operations through the judicious use of tech.

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean?

To be honest, the brand name came about because I was unable to register any of my preferred names with the corporate affairs commission and Kunbi’s Music Company was the only combination that passed the search stage!

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

My niche is the provision of creative, systematic and progressive music learning opportunities for all ages. It is a market to go to because too many people quit music lessons because they find them boring and uninspiring. My purpose is to make the journey so fulfilling that quitting is never an option!

Also read: Meet The Founder of Zeeza Bags [Exclusive Interview]

Where do you get the inspiration for your products

I get inspiration from a global community of music studio owners that I am part of. I see and learn from their innovation and mistakes every single day and I am inspired to enrich lives through music like they do.

Can you remember one of the first products you made or service you started? What makes it memorable?

Our very first service was our Boogie Babies classes – music and movement for early years. It was very memorable because when we first started, we had just a small space to work from – a small office attached to my mum’s store. And we often had just one child and their parent in attendance. It’s very difficult to create an atmosphere with such a tiny group. But we persevered. And here we are today.

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

Our biggest challenges are logistics, power and internet connectivity. Getting to appointments within a short window can be a big challenge and sometimes erratic power and internet connectivity can affect our operations.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

Not at all, it’s been challenging but a great learning experience.

What is your most popular product?

Piano lessons are by far the most popular. We teach other instruments and well but the demand for piano far outweighs the others.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

I draw on it a whole lot. Culture gives meaning and expression to music and we always try to include traditional and modern Nigerian songs in our learners repertoire.

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My short term goal is to double our clientele by the end of this year. My long term goal is to open music education hubs across the continent.

What would people be surprised to learn about you

My age. People think I am much younger than I am. Maybe due to my stature and smooth skin. I turned 50 this year.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

I would be in IT Consulting  If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?
Be methodical, be honest with your clients about what music learning entails, be creative and remain curious.

To connect with the founder of Kunbi’s Music you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Kunbismusiccompany

Whatsapp: 08034898474

Exclusive Interview with Aderonke, Founder of Mimiremi Textiles

Exclusive interview with Aderonke Jaiyeola, founder of Mimiremi Textiles on Bellafricana

She had worked in the fashion industry for 7 years before re-focusing on textile design and became the founder of Mimiremi Textiles. Her long term goal is to build a digital pattern gallery with thousands of African designs that can be used on different surfaces.

She is the founder of Mimiremi Textiles. Let’s meet her

 

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name is Aderonke Jaiyeola, I am presently based in Lagos, Nigeria. I grew up in a family of Fine artists, my dad is a graphics designer and painter while my mum is a graphics designer with specialization in Calligraphy. I have always been surrounded by creatives and it greatly influenced my decision to become an artists too. I enjoy watching the sunrise and sunset daily, I enjoy reading and researching on healthy foods and recipe.

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

Presently, I am the head of Design Team and founder of Mimiremi Textiles, where we transform plain fabrics into beautiful work of art using eco-friendly ink and rhinestones. All our fabrics are designed and hand printed by skilled women I have trained over the years. I studied Fine Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun state, Nigeria and specialized in Textile Design.

I worked in the fashion industry for 7 years before re-focusing on textile design and print. While still working in the fashion industry, I got a brief to design a collection of fabrics for a top fashion brand in Lagos, Nigeria. Excitedly I took up the challenge even though we were not taught how to create seamless patterns with corel draw, illustrator and other design soft wares, I spent hours learning on YouTube after I got the brief.

In school, we were taught batik, tie and dye , screen printing etc. The challenge propelled me to learn online and apply all I learnt to successfully implement the project. The fabrics became a bestseller for the brand and was featured on runways both local and international, in top magazines and worn by international models. The success story gave me the confidence to rebrand the business from a fashion brand to a textile design brand in 2016. Since then, Mimiremi Textiles has evolved with many best selling fabric prints and patterns.

Also Read: Meet The Founder of Aso Ibile Mi [Exclusive Interview]

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean?

‘Mimiremi’ is from the Yoruba intonation on my name ‘Aderonke ‘ translated remimiremi. I decided to remove the first ‘re’ and use the Mimiremi only. I love it and chose it because it sounds fun, African and Artistic.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

In market segmentation, there is a place for research. For many years I researched on how to create a niche for Mimiremi Textiles, I asked questions and worked on solving the problem raised. For example, fashion designers really wanted to have their own ideas printed on fabric instead of using fabrics found in the Local market, a fabric design that is 100%t theirs. I decided to focus on helping designers solve this problem and we started out by creating designs locally but printing them on different fabrics with our partners in Asia. We ran this model for 2 years till it became unsustainable because of the constantly rising exchange rate.

We decided to start researching into how to print our designs on fabric locally and came up with 2 solutions- screen printing and stencil printing, it became an instant hit and we were able to create art work on clothings and fabrics using eco-friendly ink. The beauty of the technique is that we can print on as low as half a yard, we can print on fabrics and keep reprinting as many times as possible even if the designer comes back in 6 months or one year. I was also able to train women in my community to print and work in the studio

Where do you get the inspiration for your products

I love Africa and it reflects in my designs, most of my designs are influenced by the rich African culture that I love so much. My work is also influenced by nature’s beauty- flowers, sunset, butterflies and so much more.

Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?

I stumbled on a notebook/journal I made for my dad while in school, I used Batik on it and wrote ‘I love you Dad’ with acrylic paint. The day I saw it on my Dads table last year, I was amazed about how good it still looked after more than 16years. It was indeed memorable because that was my first line of business, using my batik designs as book cover and the fact that my dad kept it in his library for so many years.

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

There are so many challenges facing small businesses in Africa especially Nigeria. One of the major challenge we faced is the unstable and rising exchange rate coupled with unfriendly government policies, it has made it very difficult to print our digital designs from Asia and also made it difficult to ship in our eco-friendly ink. The unstable power supply has also made it difficult for us to automate our printing process. The beauty of challenges anyway is that they make you think of a way around the problems and make you invent new ways of achieving results. We have been considering new ways of transferring our designs on fabric and clothing using a material we can easily source for locally, something that will appeal to our customers and which can also open up other markets for us. We are presently introducing our rhinestone designs to the market and the response has been great.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

Not at all, it’s been challenging but a great learning experience.

What is your most popular product?

Our most popular product is our hand painted fabric but with the new product,(RHINESTONE on clothing and fabrics)we are introducing to the market, we foresee it will become a major best seller in the next one year.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

My African(Nigerian) heritage is rubber stamped in almost all my designs.

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My short term goal is to build an interactive e-commerce store and pattern gallery that will incorporate at least 50 patterns and all our other products and services so as increase daily sales and annual turn over.

My long term goal is to build a Digital pattern gallery with thousands of African designs that can be used on different surfaces. I also want to go back to school for my PhD and also lecture in one of the top Art schools in the world.

What would people be surprised to learn about you

I hardly watch TV, I prefer reading and drawing.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

Nutrition and healthy living therapist or a Teacher.

 If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?
Never be afraid to ask your potential customers questions so as to be able to create a solution they will love to buy. Also keep researching on new updates in your industry and how to apply it to scale up your business.
Mimiremi Textiles handmade in Nigeria
Mimiremi Textiles handmade in Nigeria, bellafricana member

To connect with the foundrr of Mimiremi, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Mimiremi

Whatsapp: 08034898474

Meet The Founder of Buttermilk Confectioneries [Exclusive Interview]

Meet The Founder of Buttermilk Confectioneries Oby

She quit her 9-5 job to start a thriving business from her passion as a baker. It takes another level of courage and tenacity to quit a job and start a business, so you can imagine why I couldn’t wait to share this interview with you.

Let’s meet the founder of Buttermilk Confectioneries

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name is Obiageli Ojo, the founder and chief baker of Buttermilk Confectioneries. I quit my 9-5 job about 11 years ago to raise my kids  and discovered the passion in baking. I’m passionate about the work I do.

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

Buttermilk Confectioneries is a bakery open to cater for all cakes, pastries, bread and confection needs. We have been in existence for about 9 years now. We make cakes for different occasions. Recently, we added breads to our menu. We love to try out new flavors from time to time and challenging decorating techniques to play around with. One of our unique selling points is using wholesome fresh ingredients without additional additives that can harm the body. Another is preparing the cakes in a very hygienic environment with lots of love and care.

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean?

I came about the name Buttermilk in my quest to find something that will improve the appearance and taste of my products. Buttermilk is the liquid left after butter has been churned from milk or cream. It is also cultured milk made by the addition of suitable bacteria to sweet milk. It makes baked products moist and brings pleasant tangs to breads, pastries and cakes; that is why I chose the name. We add it to most of our products.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

Producing and delivering wholesome pastries without artificial additives. I also love to simplify recipes to make them a bit more easy to work with and especially because of availability of quality ingredients in our country.

Where do you get the inspiration for your products

Mostly from my customers needs and desires and sometimes from watching trends on Pinterest and Instagram.

Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?

It was my daughter’s first birthday cakes, Sleeping Teddy and Dora the Explorer cakes, her favorite cartoons at the time. Everyone was amazed that I could do such intricate design without formal training. It was super delicious too.

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

The challenges we face are availability and affordability of raw materials, industry regulations not thorough, electricity, lack of trained and qualified personnel and managing them, unhealthy competitions.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

The only regret is that I didn’t start earlier knowing this is absolutely what I was destined to do. Apart from that, no regrets at all.

What is your most popular product?

That will be our Buttermilk Vanilla Cake. It has a unique taste you can’t mistake if you have tasted it once.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

The use of local available materials to achieve great recipes.

What are some of your short term and long term goals, both in your business and life in general?

My Short term goal is to provide quality affordable baked products in my community and my long term goal is to extend it to other neighborhood.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

The extent to which i can go to make a customer happy and satisfied.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

Journalism. That was my first love before i discovered the baking passion.

To connect with Butter Milk Confectioneries, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Buttermilkcakes

Whatshapp: 07063103754

 

Meet The Founder of Zone A Creations [Exclusive Interview]

Meet Zainab Okhayole Zuberu founder of Zone A Creations Bellafricana Member

She is a Microbiologist, a Teacher, and a Multi-talented fashion entrepreneur with over 10 years of combined experience. She loves being creative, fashionable and putting smiles on people’s faces through her brand.

With no further ado, let’s meet the Founder of Zone A Creations for an exclusive interview.

Please Introduce yourself and your background.

My name is Zainab Okhayole Zuberu from South Ibie Edo state. I’m a 30years old Muslim lady married with 2 kids and currently reside in Benin Edo state. I’m a microbiologist, teacher and multi-talented fashion entrepreneur with over 10years combined experience. I love being creative, fashionable and putting smiles on people’s faces hence the brand

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

As a young lady, I have always been crazy about DIYs and never really liked the made in Nigeria bags because the few that I had come across are low quality while the imported ones were either of low quality or too expensive. So it happened that in 2013, while preparing lesson plan for my students using Google, I came across an ad on fabric bagmaking and that was a light bulb moment for me. I fell in love straightaway and decided I’d make all my bags myself.

Subsequently, friends and family began to love what I make, so I’d charge for materials and make bags for them for free. Later it became a side hustle until I started loving bagmaking more than my teaching job, so I quit my job and started up the Zone A brand in February 2020. The journey has been one filled with so many twist and turn, From Covid 19 lockdown, to ‘End Sars’ Protest, to the current  hike in cost of production cost, we still keep it going cos the passion and commitment is there.

We’ve so far sold over 1000 units of our products and trained over 100 ladies both online and onsite, 5 of whom are known brands that are fully established as professional bagmakers now, and numerous others employed along the value chain.

How did you come about the name and what does it mean?

I’ve always been an exceptional student while in school and would have A’s all through anytime I had a lesser grade I’d be so angry and sometimes cry so hard, so I was nicknamed Zone A. Decided to name the brand so, so I’d use that same commitment and zeal I had while growing up to ensure the brand stays at the top both locally and Internationally.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

Bespoke handbags, footwear’s and accessories. Prior to bagmaking, I  had done crocheting, fashion designing, Interior decorations and none gave me as much joy and fulfilment as I felt when I make a gorgeous and unique Afrocentric handbags. The feeling I get anytime we receive a feedback from our clients, the joy and happiness on their voice and faces when they send in pictures/videos is just it for me.

Where do you get inspiration for your products?

Sometime I go through Pinterest and try to design/create products from what I see there. Most times, when I am brainstorming ideas, I visualize unique pieces, sketch it out and continue to work on them till they make sense.

Can you remember one of the first products you made?

Yes! That was a tote bag with an Ankara fabric 7years ago. I still have it till now! I felt so pleased with myself that I took it to the workplace the next day. The admiration was out of this world and yes I got my first 2 orders that day despite not making any adverts

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

Stereotypes, people believe handmade is equal low quality and cheap article. We always educate our target market on our pages and post feedbacks regularly to help reduce this. Increase in cost price and is absurd to just constantly be increasing price of goods not at this time when everywhere is hard. Drawback of youth in learning the skill, this have reduced the number of employable youth one have access to. Stealing of designs by competitors. It’s so annoying after spending months to create a design only for a competitor to copy and recreate that design almost immediately after release. In pour of made in china bags. These are usually cheaper and Nigerians like going for the cheaper option unless a few

Do you have any regrets about venturing into this business?

I have no regrets whatsoever; I only sometimes wish I had started sooner.

What is your most popular product?

Hamdallah handbag a combination of denim and pleated Ankara fabric to make a unique and special arm candy. Comes in 4 sizes and one of the products people have not been able to recreate even when they tried.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian heritage for your work?

The African Heritage is at the base of all my product. Our products are Afrocentric made from the animal skin leathers to the tribal prints. The touch of Africaness truly stands us out

What are some of your short term and long term goals, both in your business and life in general?

Short term goal is to have wholesale outlets for my products in  at least 5 states in the country with walk in stores. My long term goals is to become a household name of handbag brand across the world and also to have a free skills acquisition center to train many youth in bag making.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I’m an introvert and often very shy and difficult to learn new languages

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this industry?

I’d still find a way to be in this industry, it has always been in me. I would have said teaching but I still teach so it’s all part of it

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

I would say be patient, be consistent and persevere. Never be too big to learn and improve on your skill.

Moreso, shun distraction and don’t be too focused on the competition. Instead, Be your own competition by always trying to be better than where you are.

 

To connect with Zone A Creative, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Edobagmaker

Whatshapp: 07061208957

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