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Water Hyacinth is a plant that takes root in waterways the world over, causing destruction to aquatic and plant eco-systems. For communities that rely on their waterways for food, livelihoods, and transportation water hyacinth blocks access to the water essential to their survival. In Nigeria, a local social enterprise, MitiMeth, is harvesting water hyacinth and turning it into functional handcrafted products, and empowering members of the local community.


MitiMeth Water Hyacinth Tissue Box Atelier Fifty Five Feature

MitiMeth was founded in 2011 by Achenyo Idachaba, a computer scientist and business analyst, and 2014 Cartier Women’s Initiative Laureate. Born and raised in the US Achenyo made the decision to move to Nigeria, her country of heritage to explore ways of contributing to the development of the country. Settling in Ibadan Achenyo initially set up an environmental consulting business, but circumstances led to her working on tackling the problem of Water Hyacinth. From the company’s first two products a wastebasket and desk organiser, the range has grown to incorporate furniture and fashion accessories that attract a local and international clientele.

MitiMeth Water Hyacinth Coasters Made in Nigeria Atelier Fifty Five Feature


MitiMeth Water Hyacinth Lampshade Atelier Fifty Five Feature


MitiMeth offers training workshops to women and young people teaching them how to harvest, process and weave the weed into products for sale, and turning a destructive negative into a beneficial positive that impacts their entire communities.


– Tapiwa Matsinde


Additional details

For further information about MitiMeth visit:


[Image credits: The images shown belong to MitiMeth. 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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  • Colourful basketry, soulful sculpture and an elegant candle make a nice placeholder we think, as we prepare to usher in a new chapter of the Atelier Fifty Five journey. [📷 credit: @atelierfiftyfive]
  • 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]
  • Tools of the trade, a hand carved printing block stamp by textile designer @juliekouamo whose evocative designs tell the stories of cultures past and present. Julie's textiles feature richly layered patterns, textures and printed pictures that come together to create vibrant collages. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]
  • Fishermen's boats, a familiar sight along the Senegalese coast line. [📷 credit: @tapiwamatsinde]

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