Africa Abroad

We have some super talented people in this country. Ok, I know there are talented and super creative people all over the world but today I’m focusing on the people here in my home land. I believe there are passions and creative talents in many people…if not all, we just need to personally find it within us. What I like best is to see our local work being displayed and revealed to the outside world! Because shipping can be so expensive, it’s hard to get African products abroad on a personal scale. It is so awesome when you get a place abroad that offers our natural products.

Happily I stumbled upon this website. Purely African. It’s an online shop run by three women all with African roots somewhere in their lives. Equally desiring to share the creativeness that surrounds us here, they decided to start a place that would enable them to share the brilliant finds of art, textiles and designs for homeware but have the products based in the country where they missed all these things the most. The UK.


Having a heart to help the disadvantaged communities and support their eco-friendly products, their hearts bloomed to passion where they now expand the products of those previously unemployed and in turn create more job opportunities.

“Empowering people to uplift themselves is so important. Our Swakx necklaces and Wolanani bowls are a great example of this as well as many other products that support the local job market like the Durchzug, Give It and Lou Harvey bags.”

“We have been so fortunate to have really talented individuals like Clinton Friedman on our website. His photographic work is outstanding and we will be bringing out lots of exciting new products from him over the next few months… we also have some great new designers on board…. Watch this space!”

I asked them some questions:

-What made you start Purely African? During our time in the UK, like you, we all often yearned for some of the beautiful things that South Africans were creating but could never find them. We have also been so blown away with the creativity that exists here and felt it needed to be shared. It was with this in mind that we created Purely African.

-Are you all south African?  We are three friends, two South Africans and one English, married to South African, we all met in London where, Abi and I lived for 14 plus years. We all followed our respective careers with Abi and I working in the city and Charlie freelancing. With 8 children between us we all headed back to South Africa in 2009.

-How do you feel about revealing these beautiful natural products? We felt a strong need to help disadvantaged communities and support ethical and eco-friendly products where we can. It has in fact been heart warming to see how many beautiful products are created. If we can support them in a small way by expanding their markets, increasing their sales and so create more jobs, we want to try.

-How do you source your items? All our items are personally sourced by us, being here in South Africa means we have access to all the exciting things that are happening in the local design is not surprising that Cape Town has been shortlisted for the world design capital …and we are passionate about what we do… we end up keeping so much of what we source for ourselves too!!!

Purely African launched their website in 2010 and are currently available on-line. They have however had great feedback and visitors at the Spirit of Summer Fair so who knows what they have up their sleeves! Go and check out their website here and see for yourself.

Debbie, Abi and Charlie-Thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourselves and Purely African. It’s been wonderful being in touch!




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