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Ciku Kimeria is a Kenyan author "Of goats and poisoned oranges" - (https://www.amazon.com/goats-poisoned-oranges-Ciku-Kimeria-ebook/dp/B00HBBWPI6), development consultant, adventurer and travel blogger (www.thekenyanexplorer.com). She writes both fiction and non-fiction focusing on African stories that need telling. She has worked on diverse pieces for various international and local publications including Quartz, Ozy, The East African etc. She has travelled to 45 countries – 16 of them in Africa. 153 countries to go and 63 territories!
"Of goats and poisoned oranges" has been extremely well received in Kenya and beyond. It tells the story of a Kenyan middle aged power couple and their complicated marriage. The novel explores issues of greed, revenge, betrayal and murder. It runs from the 1960s to 2013. It has been described as “Wicked, funny, poignant, wacky, human, a big ball of fun and danger”, “A unique and captivating book”, “Fun and intriguing”, “Impossible to put down once you start reading.”
She recently moved to Dakar, Senegal from Kenya to work on her second novel. She also works at as the Africa Communication Manager at a leading global strategy consulting firm.
She holds a B.S. in Management Science from MIT with minors in Urban Planning and International development studies.
As a lover of African fashion and design, I am always surprised by how relatively unknown African fashion is outside of the continent. To complicate matters, sometimes such fashion does not even traverse borders within the continent. Most of the lovely and unique clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry that I have stumbled across was during my trips through various cities such as Addis Ababa, Accra, Dar es Salaam, Dakar, Nairobi, Ouagadougou and others.
[Naomi] Campbell may have had a point about looking at fashion from a more pan-African perspective in order to increase the industry’s reach. The debate around whether Africa needs its own Vogue highlighted the continent’s talent, but also the struggles that designers have in creating a lucrative retail business beyond their fashion week moment.
Building a large enough local thriving fashion market in the different cities has been difficult. The types of numbers that are needed for most designers to run profitable fashion houses really depends on accessing a larger regional and global market. A few designers have been successful in doing this, mostly by getting British or American celebrities to wear their designs.
Beyoncé has also been spotted in Kisua, catapulting the online boutique’s profile. Meaning “well-dressed” in kiSwahili, Kisua was started in 2013 by Ghanaian Sam Mensah Jr., a former banker. From the beginning, Kisua’s presence online was fundamental to the brand’s success as a pan-African label. Kisua now boasts distribution centers in the US, Europe and Africa, along with physical boutiques and pop-up shops in South Africa.
While it's great that all major African cities now have their own fashion weeks, connectivity and linking to markets is the next step. Once this major issue of increasing distribution networks and sales points for African fashion is addressed, then African fashion will finally get the prominence it deserves.