In 2016, Lerato Masha and his cousin, South African actor Tumisho Masha, realised there was a need for a platform for promoting African art and design.
And so an amazing venture called AmAfrikan was born.
Lerato’s wife is from Boksburg, and it was decided that you have to be local to promote local.
About 30 per cent of AmAfrikan artwork comes from the East Rand.
“We launched AmAfrikan to find, develop and amplify African excellence in terms of art and make it accessible for the world to experience and appreciate,” said Lerato.
He said AmAfrikan.com is all about identity, which is unashamedly African. AmAfrikan’s slogan is “Born of a People”.
“The AmAfrikan brand fundamentally believes that there is an African identity in all of us and that this identity should be expressed through attitude, ambition and creativity.”
“AmAfrikan began as a means to unify the driving force and put the continent on the map for its ingenuity in creative and commercial fields.”
Lerato said AmAfrikan is creating an online marketplace that brings together the best and most beautiful designer items that Africa has to offer, under one roof, online.
“It is our vision to place African treasure on the gallery of humanity. We want AmAfrikan products to be seen as luxurious and elite.”
Using the AmAfrikan.com platform, suppliers gain access to a global customer base. This increases sales and the country’s manufacturing base, resulting in viral employment.
“The products you see on this platform have been carefully sourced and we work directly with each supplier to ensure they deliver on the high-quality standards expected by our customers,” said Tumisho.
“This is Africa, and what a place it is. The mere thought of Africa and her treasures stirs up exhilarating thoughts of adventure and wanderlust in me. Africa has always been a place of huge contradictions, from mystery and romance to the horrors of war and human depravity.
“With huge leaps in innovative technology and manufacturing capability, aided by a boom in commodity prices and an invigorated leadership, the continent seems ready to come out of decades of post-colonial arrested development and administrative delinquency.
“The time has never been better for a shift in the African psyche, how Africans see themselves and their potential to lead on a global scale.”
“At the moment AmAfrikan delivers locally, but the aim is to start international deliveries in 2019,” said Lerato.
He said AmAfrikan also develops entrepreneurs and assists them with training and skills development.
- Proudly East Rand
“We are proudly from the East Rand. There are hugely successful artists and designers’ works being showcased and sold on AmAfrikan.com, like Thulani Nhlapo and Fly Like A Girl SA.
“We want to give people a piece of the East Rand; therefore we are still looking for local designers and artists to be part of this platform. No age, gender or race discrimination,” said Lerato.
“We want AmAfrikan to represent a new, diverse South Africa.”
If you are a local artist interested in the AmAfrikan platform, send an email to [email protected]