Ann Brown

  • Q&A: Push Ismokol Building A Trendy South African Clothing Company

    By Ann Brown, 1:15 am AFKI Original

    There is more to Push Ismokol Clothing than just selling clothes. The co-founders behind the South African-based company, Nkululeko “Bibi” Maseko and Karidas Tshintsholo, have many more goals for their venture than being a successful clothing company. The pair wants to create “African solutions to African problems.” The strive to encourage consumers to buy African-made fabric over Chinese textiles.

  • Q&A: How A Genocide Survivor Became One Of Rwanda’s Top Chefs

    Genocide Survivor Became One Of Rwanda's Top Chefs By Ann Brown, 12:50 pm AFKI Original

    When Eugenie Nyirambonigaba was 13 she lost her parents and most of her siblings during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. She went to work as a housekeeper for British expats and was exposed to spices from around the world. Her employers recognized her culinary skills and urged her to return to school. Eugenie talked to AFKInsider about being a woman in business in Rwanda.

  • Q&A: Fashion Designer Gives Cabo Verde Clothing Brands A Global Twist

    By Ann Brown, 3:21 pm AFKI Original

    Samir Da Graça built his Cabo Verde clothing brand Kriolife from a hobby to a global line based on the local expression “sodade” — longing for something. Kriolife represents the culture of the Cabo Verde diaspora, Da Graça told AFKInsider. Spending most of his childhood traveling, he said he understands the longing immigrants have for their homelands. Da Graça and Kriolife are now based in Praia.

  • Q&A With The Creator Of Soweto’s South African Doll Brand

    Soweto's South African Doll Brand By Ann Brown, 2:00 am AFKI Original

    When Maite Makgoba created her African doll brand, there were already black dolls on the market. Her toy creation isn’t just a black doll — it’s a doll with South African style. Makgoba’s advice to other African businesswomen? “Formalize your businesses from get-go and target every possible funder,” she told AFKInsider. “Rejection is part of the game.”

  • Q&A:Nigerian-Born Designer Carves A Slice Off Africa’s Luxury Fashion

    Honey Malaolu By Ann Brown, 11:53 am AFKI Original

    Nigerian-born fashion designer Honey Malaolu creates luxury African designs that blend ethnic fabrics with high-end international style. Her business is based in London — second home to a growing number of ultra-rich Africans — and the brand sells globally from London and Barcelona to Dubai and Johannesburg. “This allows me to keep growing by placing my feet in two worlds,” she told AFKInsider.

  • Q&A: African Achievers Awards Shaping Continent’s Future Leaders

    By Ann Brown, 10:22 am AFKI Original

    Tonye Rex Idaminabo found a way to make money celebrating African excellence. A Nigerian lawyer and entrepreneur, he started the African Achievers Awards. The awards honor individuals and organizations that devote energy toward building stronger communities and improving Africa’s international profile. Africans have the solutions to their own problems at their fingertips, he said in an AFKInsider interview.

  • Q & A With Anda Maqanda: His AM Group Has Got The Power In South Africa’s Energy Sector

    Anda Maqanda By Ann Brown, 11:58 am AFKI Original

    It took six months to get his first contract, but when he did, it was from the City of Cape Town. Today, his clients include Eskom, De Beers and Metrorail. Meet Anda Maqanda, founder of engineering company AM Group. At age 30, he’s one of the pioneers in South Africa’s energy sector overhaul.

  • Q&A: Cabo Verde’s Singer ELL Cosme Keen On Going Global

    By Ann Brown, 7:16 am AFKI Original

    Cabo Verde is known for its great music tradition. But what of more contemporary artists? Do they have a shot of fame? Fame maybe, but not so much fortune if they remain in the small archipelago off the coast of Senegal. Even Cabo Verdean music legends such as Cesária Évora didn’t achieve full fame and compensation until they left the country. Now, newcomer ELL Cosme, who has just released the third single from his upcoming album, is at this career crossroads.

  • Glimmer of Hope: US Appoints Ambassador To Somalia After Two Decades

    By Ann Brown, 6:03 am AFKI Original

    Katherine Dhanani was named the first U.S. ambassador to Somalia in more than 20 years on Feb. 25, signaling a deepening relationship that was strained between the two countries since Somali forces brought down two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters in 1993.

  • Q&A: How A Former Model Built A Dream School In Ethiopia

    By Ann Brown, 3:48 am AFKI Original

    Atti Worku, a former computer geek-turned-Miss Universe contestant, graduated cum laude from Columbia University in the U.S. with a BA in sustainable development and a dream to help children in her native Ethiopia. A decade ago, Seeds of Africa was merely an idea Worku had to create an educational program. Now Adama, Ethiopia, is home to her Dream School.