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Olivia Knox is an interior accessories company born out of seeing the beauty in Ankole horn, which has a distinctive light ivory colour. The company was founded by Olivia Byanyima who hails from Uganda and lives in New York, and Shanley Knox from California, and is driven by the story of Olivia’s childhood in Uganda, where she spent a lot of time on her father’s ranch watching his herd of Ankole cattle roam the surrounding plains alongside buffalo, zebra, leopard, and lion.



Olivia Knox Ankole Horn JewelleryShe recalls how her father knew the names of his cows, and tales he would tell her of his ancestors, who were the ancient rulers of the Buhweju kingdom, using these takes as a way to teaching Olivia about life and to impart the knowledge of a culture centered around a love of people and animals of which the Ankole Cow is revered.


The Ankole cattle breed are known for their long distinctive horns that can span up to 8 ft long. Native to Africa Ankole cattle are said to be named after the Watusi tribe of East Africa and are a breed that the nomadic Bahima and Tutsi people have relied on for sustenance and social status, establishing a culture and identity as cattle keepers. And it is this deep-rooted heritage that forms the ethos of Olivia Knox.


“Once upon a time, my tribe built kingdoms around our cattle, the Ankole Longhorn.

Olivia Byanyima


Olivia Knox Ankole Horn dishes


Olivia Knox partners with leading global brands including, Bloomingdales, Indego Africa, Dannijo and Anthroplogie to design items from bowls to vases to glasses frames, all expertly handcrafted by the skilled local artisans the company works with.


These products are creating new markets for Ankole horn, which in turn is increasing the cattle’s economic value to local Ugandan ranchers by giving them an incentive to continue their ancient practice of raising the Ankole in the face of shifting approaches to farming in Africa which has led to the crossbreeding of ankole with higher milk yielding breeds to generate increased income.


Olivia Knox Ankole Horn Goblets

Through its efforts, Olivia Knox is helping to preserve a culturally significant way of life and enable local ranchers to take care of their families.


– Tapiwa


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[Image credits: The images shown belong to Olivia Knox. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]

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  • Eight years ago I started a blog as a place to document the interesting things I was discovering with regards to the design and creativity emerging from Africa. From the moment I created my first blog post little did I know where the journey would take me. Fast-forward to present day I have not only been privileged to witness the development of an industry, but to also have an active role in creating awareness about it.

On this journey, I have seen Africa’s design industry grow from a handful of names from a handful countries to a continent wide-reach. Some names that were just starting out have become internationally respected leaders in their field, whilst behind them, a new generation of names are coming up and claiming their place in the industry.

To say that it is an exciting time for African design and creativity would be a gross understatement! We are in a time of rapid advancement and unbridled creative expression, that is setting the foundations and standards for future generations to build on. And like many other emerging industries in Africa, creativity is opening up opportunities to those who are willing to seize them. And seizing them designers are!

And as Atelier Fifty Five begins a new chapter it is an opportunity for me to renew my commitment to supporting the development of the African design industry and helping those I work with and write about, and work with to fulfill their potential for creating world-class brands. 
I invite you to visit our website to discover more. [Link in bio]

Tapiwa, Founder Atelier Fifty Five
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  • Gifted hands. A glimpse behind the scenes of Kaross a South African based embroidery initiative, whose artisans transform furnishings into works of art. [📷 credit: Kaross]
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  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

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