Innovative fashion brewed in the African pot: Kenema & Co


My fashionability, led me to discovering Tamu Thomas of Kenema &Co. Kenema & Co, which makes ‘magic’ out of a wide range of African Prints. K&C, started production in April, 2010, and finally got into the market fuzz in May.

The name ‘Kenema’, is a District in Sierra Leone that was really ravaged by the war from 1991 – 2002. Kenema is an area that is well know for its gold and diamond mines and abundance of palm trees.  If you were to visit Kenema today you would see that the people are poor but you would not necessary guess that they were war torn a less than ten years ago.  The people are very resilient and just get on with it.  In an interview with StyleBistro, Tamu said she hoped “Kenema & Co represents the area, resilient like the people, high quality and desired like Gold and Diamond and something that can used by all like the palm trees”

As I read more and more about Kenema& Co, and the brain behind it, I realized that, Tamu, really buys the idea of ‘universality’. According to her, most African prints are usually ‘housed’ under ‘Couture’, which limits its usage for some specific events and occasions (more like a runway thing, according to her). Tamu believes that, African Prints should be more than just a fashion but rather, a style that can be used always, by anyone.

Kenema & Co, are based in Sierra Leone (where Tamu’s parents come from, although Tamu is based in Nigeria). Tamu and her partner, seem to be of the same ‘free-spirited and free-minded’ kind, as they left for Sierra Leone, somewhere in April 2010, to ‘solidify’ their ideas. She describes the experience in her blog

Tamu and her Partner, Alize

She advices: “think about style over fashion, style is for everyone and fashion isn’t.  Look at your body shape and skin tone when purchasing clothes.  Learn to dress for you.” Her online store is open for business

Words you live by….

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again – simple really but it’s so true.  Also don’t be blinded by dreams of becoming rich you need to believe in what you are doing, if you don’t believe nobody else will.

She sure sounds spicy to me 😉


Image Courtsey: Kenema& Co



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