Okayafrica's 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

The year's best streetwear, accessories, books and more from Africa and the Diaspora

Top Left to Right: 'Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara; STREETCHIEF; Modern Pharaoh; Mizizi. Bottom Left to Right: Caven Etomi; Fanm Djanm; Ikire Jones; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'We Should All Be Feminists.'

Throughout the year, we here at Okayafrica have spotlighted hundreds of small business owners and creatives making outstanding strides in fashion, film, art and beyond. With the holiday season upon us, what better time to delve deeper into these entrepreneurs' one-of-a-kind works than now?

See OkayAfrica's 2019 #BuyBlack Black Friday holiday shopping guide here

We've rounded up the best and brightest brands and products guaranteed to eliminate any last-minute shopping crises and elevate one's gift-giving game. The creators behind these picks selection hail from all over; their signature styles as distinct as their home bases, representing cities like Monrovia, Brooklyn, London, Abidjan and Washington D.C. So, it's safe to say that there's something for just about everyone on your holiday gift list. Browse through our entire guide for some overall inspiration or head straight to a particular category by clicking below.



Accessories, Shoes & Beauty

Art & Home Decor


Reflektion Design

Source: Reflektion Design

Founded by Anita Terrell, Reflektion Design offers home decor products for culturally inspired people who love unique, vibrant pieces that reflect their eclectic personalities. Throw pillows, floor/meditation pillows, curtains, wall art and bedding are just a few of the items included in the Los Angeles-based company's product line, which specifically incorporates globally-sourced Ankara fabric as the primary textile.

OT&O Home Interiors

Source: OT&O Home Interiors

When launching OT&O Home Interiors, Nigerian mother-daughter duo Enitan and Tosin envisioned a “one-stop shop for iconic African-inspired home accessories” guaranteed to transform their clients’ homes in an instant. Make sure to check out their scene stealer headwrap rugs, colorful cushions and Gele wall art.


Source: Pottery by Osa on Etsy

New Orleans-based, Nigerian-American artisan Osa makes functional, durable and creative terracotta ware that would make great presents for any decor lover in your life, especially those with a penchant for indoor plants.

Adama Delphine

Source: AdamaMakesArt on Etsy

In her 2008 exhibition Cornrows, Afro Puffs & Joy, photographer Adama Delphine celebrates the magic of young, carefree Black girls enjoying each other’s company. Note cards featuring the endearing images and the exhibition poster are now available for purchase in Delphine’s Etsy store.

Laurael Tantawy


Any art collectors on your list would certainly appreciate a stunning print snapped by Egyptian photographer Laura El-Tantawy. Inspired by questions on her identity, El-Tantawy’s photography explores social and environmental issues relating to her global upbringing in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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