Craftsmanship, quality and provenance; meet Aniqah Moawalla and Naeema Anjarwalla, the inspiring partnership behind the ethical East African homewares store QÄSA QÄSA
IMAGE: ANIQAH AND NAEEMA, CO-FOUNDERS OF QASA QASA
It was after a visit to Kenya following the terrorist attacks in Nairobi that the idea for QÄSA QÄSA was first conceived. Co-Founder Aniqah, whose parents were born and raised in Tanzania and Zanzibar, noticed a marked change to the artisan trade, as tourism was on the decline.
Hoping to reignite the industry and bring a contemporary edge to African artisanry, she and her friend, relative and Co-Founder, Tanzanian-born Naeema, set about designing and sourcing items to sell online and the following year, in 2015, they launched QÄSA QÄSA.
The name QÄSA QÄSA stems from an Amharic word to mean ‘inspire, motivate and awake’ and they say: “We hope to inspire people to make ethical purchases for beautiful and unique items that support great social enterprises, but also to recognise the need to awaken these traditional artisan skills, hopefully saving them for generations to come.”
IMAGE: BLANTYRE STORAGE JARS
Aniqah and Naeema have partnered with a range of makers; from independent craftsmen they have met on our travels, to larger non-profit groups who already have established support and development systems in place for its artisans.
They have also worked with a social enterprise which trains refugee women, helping them create financial autonomy; as well as a fairtrade textile company in Ethiopia where the men traditionally do the weaving on handlooms.
IMAGE: WOMEN OF THE IMIRASIRE COOPERATIVE WORKING WITH QASA QASA
All of QÄSA QÄSA’s pieces are meticulously handcrafted using local and indigenous materials and are made from sustainable natural materials that are local to the regions in which they are made.
Products like their Blantyre jars help reduce waste without compromising on design and functionality. Similarly, their horn products are a bi-product of the beef industry in Uganda; so instead of the horns being burnt or discarded, they are turned into beautiful objects. And their Ugwafu trays and mats are made from a locally grown natural grass that grows abundantly in western Tanzania that the artisans can access easily.
IMAGES: (LEFT) JACARANDA WOOD BOWLS; (RIGHT) AFRICAN BLACKWOOD SCOOP
Connecting the buyer with the artisan is a story card which comes with every purchase, revealing the provenance and details behind the product and its maker. Aniqah and Naeema add: “It’s important to see how the money that is paid for products gets rechannelled back into the community to build the businesses and families it supports.”
READER OFFER: QÄSA QÄSA is offering The Home Page readers an exclusive 15% off all online purchases. Simply use the code THEHOMEPAGE at the checkout when shopping here.
Discover other Brands We Love here