Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

YSWARA Brings Their Elegant Tearoom Experience To Ghana

  The launch of luxury tea brand YSWARA’s Johannesburg tearoom has been joined by the opening of one in Accra, Ghana. The YSWARA tearoom and boutique is part of a collaborative space shared with local retailer Luxury Living and Akrafo, YSWARA’S sister brand of gourmet condiment’s, bringing gourmet and interior decor experience to the city’s stylish residents.  

Read More

Modern Afro Style Inspiration Moyi Magazine Winter Issue

  Looking to be inspired by some modern Afro style goodness to set the tone for the new year ahead? Then Moyi magazine is just the thing. The winter issue is out now and I am loving the cover which features South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha wearing a dress by fashion designer Joel Jansen Van Vuuren in the sophisticated surrounds of Saxon Hotel.  

Read More

YSWARA Unveils A Tranquil Tearoom To Savour Precious African Teas

  There is nothing I love more than a good cup of tea, the stronger the better. Anytime is teatime as far as I am concerned, so you can only imagine what I think about those who take their tea as seriously as I do. Like YSWARA for instance, the luxury tea brand championing made in Africa, who are reviving the ceremony of ancient African tea drinking rituals with its offering of specially blended teas and accompanying accessories. And now you can immerse yourself fully in the YSWARA brand experience with the launch of their flagship tearoom and store in […]

Read More

Moyi Magazine Shining The Light On Modern Afro Lifestyle

  If you are a lover of beautiful design, inspirational editorials, peeps into other peoples homes for a dose of African inspired interior design inspiration and boundless African creativity then make room in your life for Moyi, a brand new quarterly modern Afro lifestyle magazine that curates the best in design, decor, architecture, arts, travel, beauty, fashion and food showcasing and celebrating the work of talented individuals of African heritage. Moyi means sun in Lingala, a language spoken in Central Africa. And through its colourful, elegantly designed pages Moyi shines the light on the exceptional creativity and lifestyle defining a modern […]

Read More

The Ndau Collection Luxury Scents Inspired by Africa Past And Present

Zimbabwean jewellery label The Ndau Collection launched their first collection of luxury scents inspired by Africa past and present. The collection was created in collaboration with South African parfumer, Tammy Frazer of Frazer Parfum. Blended from rare botanicals and aromatics each scent takes the wearer on a journey inspired by Africa’s past and present, from the origins of perfume on the continent to the treks of the continent’s first inhabitants through to the present day traveller.

Read More

Adorable Taunina Handmade Teddy Bears South Africa

[Image source/credit – Taunina Skyler Bunny Rabbit – Positive Luxury/Taunina] Displayed on one of the prettiest websites I have seen in a while, is an adorable, colourful range of soft toys that have been exquisitely handcrafted by a group of talented artists in Woodstock, Cape Town. Taunina is a company that produces an enchanting collection of one-of-a-kind collectable teddy bears, bunny rabbits and puppy dogs; each a precious gift designed to be passed down the generations as future heirlooms. Taunina handmade teddy bears are individually crafted, comprising of more than twenty panels, each soft toy takes around four to seven days to complete, in a […]

Read More

David Attenborough Documentary Series Africa On BBC ONE 

I have been watching Africa on BBC One, the new documentary series  by veteran British presenter, Sir David Attenborough. Filmed over four years, so far five episodes have taken viewers through the Kalahari, Savannah, Congo, Cape and Sahara, with the sixth and final episode next week looking at the Future of Africa, in terms of what is being done to help preserve the Continent’s precious biodiversity, including how local communities are helping in the war on poaching.

Read More

YSWARA Precious African Teas Championing Luxury Made In Africa

Working for many years in the design industry, I have always been fascinated with the way brands develop, the stories behind them, and so have delighted in watching the innovative luxury tea brand, Yswara blossom into something truly special. When I was first introduced to Yswara about a year and a half ago, the made in Africa tea brand was still in its infancy, developing its visual face so to speak, and whilst their current website was being created, their blog had some insightful information on the evolution of their logo and icon, which if I remember correctly is based on the […]

Read More

African Inspired Interior Accessories Decléor Scented Candle 

Premium aromatherapy skin care specialists Decléor introduce a relaxing candle infused with 100% natural essential oils, whose scent and packaging evoke the rich and diverse eco-system found in Madagascar. Tonka Bean, Vetiver, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang, and Grapefruit are combined in the African inspired interior accessories to create a blissful luxurious fragrance that naturally perfumes your living space whilst contributing to your wellbeing. Free of Palm oil, the Decléor Voyage – Madagascar Scented Candle has a sixty-hour burn time. [Image credit:  Decléor Voyage – Madagascar Scented Candle]

Read More

Maji Umbrellas Take Cover And Help Provide Clean Water

Living in the UK with its unpredictable weather, it goes without saying having an umbrella is a necessity and it is easy to through many in quick succession in the course of a year, hoping each new purchase will serve its purpose of keeping you dry and be not blown away when confronted with a bit of wind. Inevitably there are many styles to choose from, and the latest entry in the market is Maji Umbrellas whose ethos is to create sturdy, stylish umbrellas that do more than just keep you dry. [Image credit: Maji Umbrellas – left, Moonshade; right Blue Sahara]

Read More

Interior Decor Accessories Handcrafted African Candles

In the mountainous countryside of the Kingdom of Swaziland a disused cowshed in a former dairy was turned into a candlemaking workshop that has become a local tourist attraction as visitors from all over the world stop by to see the production process, and array of unique handcrafted African candles. Whether round or triangular, animal or fruit; carved or hand painted Swazi Candles are created and finished by hand meaning no two will be the same. [Image credits: Swazi Candles]

Read More

Reader Offer – Bibi Invitations African Style Wedding Invitations

Spotting a gap in the market after an unsuccessful search to find modern African style wedding invitations that showcased her vibrant Nigerian heritage prompted designer Ify Ojo to seriously consider creating her own range and led to the founding of Bibi Invitations; an exquisite range of wedding and special occasion invitations designed to capture the vibrant celebratory spirit of Nigerian, and indeed many African special occasions. The company was officially launched in 2012 by three friends; Ify Ojo and Omena Babalola who are based in Canada, and Chinelo Agazie who is based in the UK. [Image credits: Ifenkili – Bibi Invitations]

Read More

Shumba Inc Hand Felted African Products And Gifts

No words necessary with this sentimental card that captures the spirit of love. Using felt, the card is part of a modern range of hand felted African products and gifts handcrafted by Harare based company Shumba Inc, whose cute and quirky products I have featured before here. [Image credit: KIssing Couple Card – Shumba Inc]

Read More

Miller Harris Le Touessrok Mauritius Interior Accessories

In search of some sun and relaxation and a break is out of reach at the minute then let a limited edition Miller Harris’ candle bring that holiday feeling to you. Inspired by the landscape and local spices of Mauritius, perfumer Lyn Harris of luxury British company Miller Harris has teamed up with Le Touessrok, to create a Mauritius interior accessories fragrance and a scented candle, entitled ‘Cardamon Sucre’. [Image source: Miller Harris Cardamon Sucre Candle – Red Online]

Read More

Luxury Handcrafted African Print Paper Notebooks

Looking to record thoughts and goals for the year ahead, for me the fresh pages of a brand new notebook always have the affect of optimism and promise, I can hardly wait to get stuck in, and this is the time of year when I inevitably end up accumulating an assortment of journals, diaries and notebooks from usually from gifts and giveaways. Stationery tends to be so visually stimulating that with so many designs to choose from it becomes tempting to collect them just because. These were the very thoughts I had when I came across an advert for Lovely Notebooks, […]

Read More

Mario Gerth Culture And Diversity In African Portraits Collection

It goes without saying that artists and photographers alike have always been fascinated by the human form, and I often wonder about the nameless faces captured by camera and displayed for the world to see. I must admit it sometimes unsettles me slightly, wondering do they know they will be on some form of display, their likeness forever preserved in the pages of a book or as a mounted image hung on the wall. My mind is full of questions… who are they, what are their day to day lives like, their hopes and dreams? But at the same time […]

Read More

Freshly Found Vintage Paper Inspired Christmas Decor

For a quirkier, vintage inspired look and feel to your Christmas décor then Freshly Found have some inspired decorations. Inspired by a love of vintage and the Japanese traditional craft of origami, vintage paper is sourced through the recycling of books made by local crafters and folded to make items like Christmas trees, baubles and hearts. I adore the heart made with vintage jigsaw puzzle pieces, very playful, taking me back to my childhood. The Christmas tree is made from folded book pages mounted onto wire to give it a three-tiered structure and comes with two pom-pom garlands on red chain. Cards […]

Read More

Novica Ghana Artisans African Christmas Decorations

December’s here and out come the trees and decorations. My sister and her kids put their’s up yesterday; a luxurious black tree draped with tinsel and baubles in various gold, brandy and bronze tones that pick up and reflect her muted side lights; bringing a warm glow to her living room. If you are looking for some African Christmas decorations inspiration for your tree this season, I found these miniature hand-carved West African masks and figurines on the artisan marketplace, NOVICA. Made in Ghana, the wooden ornaments are a departure from the standard mass produced tree decorations, bringing a more personal touch. […]

Read More
  • 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
  • Instagram Image
  • 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]

Instagram @ atelierfiftyfive