Proving that the bright colours of African fashion have its place on the global stage and on it girls, co-founders Freeda Mulenga and Veronica Nnensa started Kuwala, an e-commerce site to purchase unique clothing pieces inspired by African heritage.
Known to each as close family friends, Freeda and Veronica often took trips together to countries like Ghana and South Africa and were thoroughly inspired by local fashion. They dreamed of setting up a company that celebrated modern African fashion. Originally from Malawi, now based in Canada, Freeda has an educational background in accounting and Veronica studied international development and public policy. Using their learning and professional skills, they started Kuwala, a Toronto-based company to create a global platform for African fashion designers. They buy pieces from designers and resell them all over the world.
In 2014, they launched their site with just 10 pieces and first focused on increasing their online and social media presence before collaborating with various brands. Kuwala means, ‘to shine’ and they have done it for themselves and others. After Kuwala’s launch, they not only collaborated with African designers in the continent, but also with others in the diaspora. Each piece sold on Kuwala is ethically sourced and handcrafted and in 2017, they have expanded to Malawi, Ghana, Canada and the UK bringing unique wearable designs for people.