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10 Leading Designers From Africa To Know

'Contemporary Design Africa' author Tapiwa Matsinde highlights 10 leading contemporary decor designers from Africa.


Contemporary Design Africa Book Cover © Thames & Hudson

For over a decade and a half an exciting, thriving design scene has taken hold across the African continent, bringing forth a host of talent who are drawing increased global attention. These new voices are challenging the stereotypes that have long defined design from Africa, their work reflecting the wider changes happening across the continent. Designers and artisans together are offering up new perspectives, reviving and revitalising ancient traditions and crafts, and seeking ways to make their world better. This has resulted in innovative, sophisticated products that not only reflect the diversity of the continent, but are also championing 'made in Africa'. Specifically looking to the world of contemporary decor, highlighted over the following pages are a selection of leading and emerging designers drawn from the disciplines of: furniture, ceramics, textiles, product, and basketry design who are making their mark on the industry.

Tapiwa Matsinde is a UK-based designer, writer, and founder of the design blog Atelier Fifty-Five. In her new book, Contemporary Design Africa (Thames & Hudson), Matsinde presents 50 designers, artisans, and cooperatives based on the continent or part of the diaspora who are creating sophisticated and innovative products and interiors.

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Watch the Music Video for Rema's New Single 'Beamer (Bad Boys)'

The buzzing Nigerian artists shares a catchy new banger.

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The ornate gilded copper headgear, which features images of Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, was unearthed after refugee-turned-Dutch-citizen Sirak Asfaw contacted Dutch 'art detective' Arthur Brand. (Photo by Jan HENNOP/AFP) (Photo by JAN HENNOP/AFP via Getty Images)

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Sirak Asfaw, an Ethiopian who fled to The Netherlands in the '70s, first found the relic in the suitcase of a visitor in 1998, reports BBC Africa. He reportedly protected the item for two decades, before informing Dutch "art crime investigator" Arthur Brand and authorities about his discovery last year.

The crown is one of only 20 in existence and features intricate Biblical depictions of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. Historians believe it was given to the church by the warlord Welde Sellase several centuries ago.

Read: Bringing African Artifacts Home

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Photo by Sally Hayden/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

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