The first time I went to Lamu I was 15 years old. With six of my closest friends (and a parental chaperone) I spent a magical week in the most beautiful house on Shela Island. In the morning, the smell of fresh mahamri floated in from neighbouring houses, and before it got too hot, we walked down the beach and through the sand dunes. We swam in the ocean; ate samosas bought on the beach; and spent lazy afternoons reading, giggling and drinking tea on the rooftop. We even, briefly, took in a scraggly little kitten that we washed with L’Oreal (I only remember this detail because someone joked it was “worth it”).Read More
Most things in life are complicated. Way too complicated.
The story behind this design is not one of those things :-) It went something like this:Read More
Elle King, one half of ZikoAfrika, proves time and time again that you can’t go wrong with these earrings. This design is part of ZikoAfrika's Zamani collection, which was informed by and seeks to celebrate Africa’s “rich history of jewellery craftsmanship”. The brand’s Coin Necklace and The Hiziri are also part of this collection.Read More
On the ground floor of the 2016 Afrika Handmade exhibition, the high table from Quinn Peaks was set with plates, bowls, salt and pepper shakers and candle holders from the Ugandan company Byentaro Ceramics. On the wall behind the table five large plates were arranged in a line. And just off to the left were these clay ‘boats’.Read More
Born in Kitale, Carlos Nathwani was an oilman before he started Quinn Peaks Furniture with his wife Minal. When Carlos moved to Nairobi 16 years ago, he wasn’t keen on continuing to work in this field so when he saw an advert in the newspaper—woodworking machinery for sale—he bought the machinery, rented a godown on Mombasa Road and got to work.Read More
A few years ago, in a bid to create eco-conscious furniture and lighting, the product design and development team at Decor Interiors Limited started to work with sisal. “Sisal’s almost hostile profile as a plant does not set off images of comfort and enduring elegance. We chose to adopt it as a medium for beautiful designs with a contemporary earth styling,” Kamni Mehta, the CEO and founder, explained in the Afrika Handmade exhibition catalogue.Read More
There were two chairs in this design by Espirit Ethnique at Afrika Handmade 2016—one upholstered with a predominantly green print, and the other mostly orange. The material was purchased from the Masaai Market at Yaya Centre and a special brush technique was employed to create the unique effects on the metal frame.Read More
It took architecture and design studio Two by Four exactly 15 days to transform this shipping container into a self-contained living pod. The ‘Moja Pod’ was then transported on the back of a flatbed truck from the plot in Kileleshwa where it was assembled, lifted by crane over the wall of Alliance Française and carefully placed in the garden.Read More
It is always a thrill to see new designs from I AM I because of the brand’s constant evolution as designer Ami Doshi Shah experiments with materials and technique. This ring forms part of I AM I’s Ebony Collection where the designer worked with “deep, luscious tones of Ebony wood as though it was a precious stone”.Read More
In and of themselves, these expressions don’t seem particularly special. On any given day in a matatu you hear: “Niko Kwa Jam. Nacome”. Most M-Pesa transaction messages from friends or family come with the caveat: “Tuma Na Ya Kutoa”. And with the current heatwave, who hasn’t thought: “Hii Joto Ni Ya Mvua”?Read More
Letters: I love them, just love them.
And not just receiving them, I love the whole process. I like to spend time selecting the right paper; planning out the letter; carefully folding the paper and placing it in the envelope; and finally sticking on the stamp. I even enjoy that little pinch of anxiety before I push the letter into the mailbox.Read More
From their charming little store at The Yard in Westlands (and online), menswear brand One Hundred Years offers up a selection of well-designed, quality menswear. There are classic shirts in white, blue or pink with a choice of either brown or white buttons; Henley shirts and basic tees made from Ugandan-sourced cotton; boxer shorts in plain white or with blue and white stripes; and beige and grey shorts.Read More
One of the great things about online concept store Ichyulu is the designers from across the continent the brand has introduced to us in Nairobi. In January, the British-Tanzanian brand Chichia; in July, the Cape Town-based accessories brand Pichulik; and this month A A K S, a Ghanaian brand founded by Akosua Afriyie-Kumi.Read More