Ricafrica is an online retailer for fashion accessories that provides the most authentic experience of Africa to anyone, anywhere.
With 54 countries and more than 3000 tribes, diversity in creativity is eminent in Africa. While much of African creativity is inspired by culture and tradition, African creatives continue to innovate and desire to share their creations with the world. Ricafrica, together with our African creative partners, invite anyone and everyone to celebrate African creativity, through the diverse and awe inspiring creative goods that you can shop in our marketplace.
While creativity is prominent in Africa, opportunity is not. The influence of African creativity is evident in the global fashion, art, film and music trends, to name a few. Unfortunately, the work of African creatives has influenced and inspired the global creative industry but, lacked representation in the global marketplace. The result is a disconnect that is detrimental to the economic well being of African creatives and that is denying celebrants of Africa an authentic connection to the African continent. Ricafrica caters to the unique needs of African creatives and leverages the increased access to technology, across Africa, to promote entrepreneurship among African creatives, and help them serve the increasing global demand for their products.
Ricafrica is closing the loop between African creativity and opportunity. Unemployment rates are well above the global average, and up to 70% of employed Africans are trapped in vulnerable, low paying jobs. Ricafrica aims to provide African creatives with access to the global marketplace, in order to tackle the tremendously daunting challenge of unemployment and catalyze economic development across the continent, ultimately improving the wellbeing of African creatives and their communities.
AUTHENTICITY – Ricafrica strives to provide the most authentic experience of Africa to anyone, anywhere. Everything sold by Ricafrica is made in Africa!
UBUNTU – Ricafrica treats both strangers to and members of the African community with a sincere warmth. We are, as Archbishop Desmond Tutu put it, “open and available to others, affirming of others … [we have] a proper self-assurance.”
TRUST – We are building trust from manufacturer to buyer so that Ricafrica and its stakeholders can believe and have confidence in the integrity, reliability and fairness of each other.
FROM THE FOUNDER
I founded Ricafrica to bridge connections between Africa and world. As a Zimbabwean native who has lived in the United States for nearly a decade, I often find myself feeling nostalgic. As a result, I frequently turn to the “pieces” of Zimbabwe to satisfy my yearning to connect with home. One day it could be the Zimbabwean art hanging in my living room and another it can be wooden cooking tools that my mother brought me. It is amazing how these objects have the power to cure my nostalgia. These objects are a “pieces” of home. Home is with me.
The desire to connect to Africa goes beyond me and beyond people like me who were born in or have strong ties to the continent. There are those who are seeking to connect to their African roots, those who want to learn about its history, cultures and traditions, those who want to explore and experience its nature and wildlife, yet still, those who simply admire African creativity. The desire to connect to Africa is ever present and increasing.
“The works of African creatives… tell stories and are physical manifestations of experiences that transcend time and space.”
I founded Ricafrica to share my experiences of connecting to the African continent through African creative objects. The works of African creatives, whether a handwoven bag made in Kenya or African print jewelry made in Zimbabwe, are more than beautiful. They often tell stories and are physical manifestations of experiences that transcend time and space. A beaded choker from South Africa is so much more than just a piece of jewelry. It is the product of history, culture, tradition, personal experience, and so much more. Authentic African creative goods have a unique ability to bridge connections to the African continent in a very powerful and genuine way.
Though many African creative goods are rooted in culture and traditions, African creatives continue to innovate and are excited to share their work globally. This is exciting because the interest in and demand for African creative goods is increasing globally. Unfortunately, many African creatives experience challenges– technical, logistical, financial, political, etc– that prevent them from participating in the global marketplace. These creatives have been some of the most influential in the global creative industry, but have not benefited fully from their contributions, as others capitalize on the challenges they face and commercialize their creativity. Ricafrica is changing this. We are helping African creatives to tap into the global marketplace so that eventually they can sell more directly, profitably and sustainably to international buyers. Ricafrica strives to promote African creativity, nurture job creation, support economic development and ultimately improve the quality of life for many across Africa.
~ Kimberley Mbayiwa