The holiday season has come around already! If you’re stuck for ideas, I’ve got you covered with a Christmas list packed full of African inspired and African owned brands:
1. For Him
Broderick Hunter for MIA LDN in the Maureen Fitzsimmons II Collection
MIA LDN’s new AW17 Collection of handmade formal wear from some of Africa’s finest tailors is the perfect gift for guys (and girls) this Christmas. You may remember MIA LDN from my Fashionomics Series – if not, get familiar as they’ve just launched their e-commerce store making it easier to shop their collection and bespoke services.
2. For Her
Kuba Wraps – A/W 2017
Another brand featured in my Fashionmics Series, Kuba UK a line of authentic handmade African head wraps and accessories, has just released some stunning pieces for Autumn/ Winter. Accompany one of Kuba’s satin lined (fro- friendly!), head wraps with a matching choker for her perfect gift.
The Guardian pendant uses the Mmusuyidee Adinkra symbol and represents good luck/removal of bad luck.
A gift with meaning – Lonam’s collection is full of stunning sterling silver and 14ct Gold pieces adorned with Adinkra Symbols (visual symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms created by the Ashanti tribe of Ghana).
With such an extensive range (including bangles, pendants and wedding bands) and something for both men and women, you’re bound to find the right gift at Lonam.
“The word Lonam means ‘Love Me’ in my father’s language, the West African language of Ewe (Eh-way) which is largely spoken by a tribe in the Volta region of Ghana. We specialise in traditional West African silver and gold jewellery with a strong Ghanaian influence and a modern twist. Our designs are both symbolic and meaningful using the Adinkra symbols created by the Ashanti tribe which aim to inspire the wearer with their spiritual concepts and simple truths.“
Aisha, Founder – Lonam Jewellery.
*Get E-gift vouchers from £10
4. Prints & art:
Bonita Ivie Prints are a gift and stationery brand that celebrates West African culture with the use of bold illustration and prints. These designs were born from the designer, Bonita Ebuehi’s dissatisfaction with the lack of ethnic influence in high street gift card and stationery stores.
Bonita is passionate about creating products that people of colour can easily identify with, to make both celebratory and everyday moments special. Add a personalised touch to your Christmas greetings cards and stocking fillers with Bonita Ivie!
*Get 20% off with your Jamii Card!
Twitter: @ bonita_ivie
Instagram: @ bonitaivieprints
Facebook: @ bonitaivieprints
From okra and mango salad to hibiscus and sumac prawns – Hibiscus by Lope Ariyo shares a fusion of Nigerian and British recipes perfect for the adventurous foodie. I had the pleasure of tasting some of Lope’s hibiscus drizzle puff puff earlier this year at the Africa @ Spitalfields Market in London and loved every bite – this cookbook comes highly recommended!
6.For the Bookworm
What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Photo credit: @africanbookaddict
For the book lovers, there is a wealth of African literature that
would make the perfect addition to someone’s collection. I reached out to my favourite African lit blogs: Afreada and African Book Addict for a recommendation this season, who unanimously selected Lesley Arimah’s short story collection:
“The one book I’d recommend would have to be What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah. It’s a collection of stories that are like nothing you’ve ever read before, and nothing you’ll ever read again. It’s breathtaking and brilliant. The stories are short and sharp and witty, and it’s an illustration of the best that African Lit has to offer. I couldn’t recommend it any higher.”
Nancy Admimora Founding Editor Afreada
Grab your copy here
Happiness (Ronga dialect, Mozambique)
Tsaka Beauty is a hair care brand with African roots. I love the story behind this brand where it’s founder Celmira Amada remembers admiring her Grandmother’s beautiful long hair and learning her secrets. Now she endeavours to share her grandmother’s African plant-based hair care recipes through Tsaka Beauty. This is a gift suitable for all hair types (afro, curly and tex-laxed) and one for the natural beauty lover as its vegan-friendly and sulfate free!
“We use carefully selected plant ingredients blended to unlock the rich nutrients of the African flora. Our hair care routine is part of a traditional beauty ritual, handed down from my grandmother.”
8.For the kids
Remember the days you would search for hours on the net or in store for a black doll (often with no luck)? Yeah, me too. Luckily, Nana Dolls have got us covered now and not only provide beautiful black dolls but beautiful black dolls with afros and stunning Ankara & Kente print outfits. If that wasn’t enough each doll tells the story of a powerful woman in African history. I would have loved a Nana Doll as a little girl, but thankfully we’ve got the chance to gift our little-loved ones today!
“On a recent trip to Ghana, we visited Cape coast Elmina castle. The stories we heard about slavery and the brave women who fought for black freedom really touched us. We felt it is very important for us to remember and also educate our children and future generations about these powerful women in history. It was this trip that inspired us to create Nana dolls. “
A doll for my doll – I picked up the Nana Nehanda doll for my little cousin at Notting Hill Carnival this summer.
9. For the party
Holiday season = party season! If you’re looking to enter the office/ Christmas/ New Years party in African style Grass-fields is the place. I absolutely love this brand for its variety, style and quality. Grass-fields also have a team making clothes in Cameroon, who are paid 3x the average salary! As well as Cameroon fabrics are sourced from Nigeria and Benin. With something for men, women, plus size and kids, Grass-fields is the place to find your festive outfits.
10. Something to do
Add some African sparkle to your Christmas shopping this year!
The Africa Centre presents The African Christmas Market on Great Suffolk Street Southwark, London, from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th December 2017.
The African Christmas Market will feature an incredible seasonal offering of African and Caribbean food, craft, fashion and jewellery stalls; gospel choirs; a special Santa’s Grotto and kids’ activities; Christmas lights; warming drinks and seasonal surprises. It’s free! – go along and share the Christmas spirit, African style!
Can you recommend any other African inspired gifts? Comment below
Have a good Christmas