Meet Olatunde Ayilara, CEO of WaraCake. As a young entrepreneur, he has successfully become a pioneer in creating a tech-powered and logistics cake company, breaching the gap between customers and cake vendors.
To solve the traffic and logistics challenges handling fragile items like cake, he invented the #WaraBuddy. The first cake tech company in Africa to compete even in global markets by attracting customers all over the world with an enhanced payment platform. Other innovations on his platform are WaraWish and Wararep.
You can shop and customize your cakes for your special occasions and loved ones at www.waracake.com. Tunde is passionate about young children and his goal is to foster a Happy World as he uses his cakes to inspire and help children in Nigeria. Connect with Tunde on social media.
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There are different definitions to what beauty is and Majiri Otobo, the founder of Kui Care, found her definition in natural hair. It all started when she had to stop wearing hair extensions at work, as she worked in a food factory as a process engineer. She had to wear her natural hair constantly and in the long run discovered the beauty and versatility of the natural hair. But most importantly how completely underappreciated it is. This changed everything for Majiri and with the passion to aid others on their own natural-hair-journey in the African market, she birthed Kui Care. Kui started as an idea in 2013 and came to life on the 19th of August 2015.
Now, you may wonder what Kui stands for. It means Star in Ijaw, which is Majiri’s mother’s language. Her father, on the other hand, is from the Isoko tribe in Delta state, Nigeria, which makes her Isoko, too. I think it gets interesting now because we are writing about a brand from an Isoko lady on ISOKO Africa. Don’t get confused. Isoko is a tribe in Delta, Nigeria but ISOKO also means market in Swahili which is where we got our name.
About Majiri and the Kui Care Brand
Majiri studied Chemical Engineering while in school and identifies herself as a south-south girl who grew up in Lagos. She manages Kui Care, which is a personal care brand passionate about bringing out the star in you.
Here is what Majiri has to say about Kui Care: “Kui’s vision is to change the fabric of our society, to make products that are inspirational, aspirational, trusted and valued. To focus on our results being above and beyond expectations while maintaining honesty and an openness of our limitations. To control the integrity of our identity while building on the ideals of self-growth, love and appreciation”.
Kui Care has less than 10 people as their core team, most of which work in Onikan, Lagos, apart from the manufacturing site. They focus on the day to day business; from customer service to sales, marketing, accounting and logistics. There are also supporting staff for sales on a commission basis.
Who is Kui Care for?
Kui Care has Nigeria as a target audience, with the aim to grow and sell to the globe. Narrowing it down, Majiri says that she targets university students, office/shop workers and other people who are likely to appreciate natural hair products. Kui Care is for the person who wants to feel their hair come to life and be glad that they have discovered a local product they believe in.
Products and Packaging
Kui Care gets their raw materials from a number of countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa – specifically Nigeria.
Kui’s first products are the Tea Tree & Cinnamon range which consist of:
KUI Tea Tree & Cinnamon Moisturizing Shampoo; N1,500
KUI Tea Tree & Cinnamon Moisturizing Conditioner; N1,500
KUI Tea Tree & Cinnamon Moisturizing Leave-in Hair Mist; N1,200
KUI Tea Tree and Cinnamon Moisturizing Hair Cream; N1,000
You can get these four as a set at an RRP between N5000 and N6000. The products are sold in approximately 160 stores in Lagos and can be delivered worldwide via dressmeoutlet.com. They also have other major distributors like the SPAR supermarket, GAME, Hubmart, MedPlus among others. You can see more of their distributors on www.kuicare.com/stockists.
Here are a few things to know about Kui’s Tea Tree & Cinnamon range:
Made to be the building blocks of soft, long and healthy natural hair
Designed to add maximum moisture to the hair strands while conditioning them
Consisting of antibacterial Tea Tree Oil which helps to fight against dandruff and Cinnamon which aids hair growth
The hair cream contains cold-pressed Shea butter, which benefits the hair greatly
The leave-in mist contains Aloe Vera for added benefit
The products come with the green feel, with the teal of the label representing the sea and the cap of the conditioner representing the sun with its yellow colour. Kui Care products are packaged with the intention of conveying a good global standard quality product, yet not looking overtly exorbitant. They make this happen by working with the right manufacturers who care about and can produce a consistently high level of quality packaging.
Majiri opens up to us on how the exchange rate affects the pricing of the Kui Care products. This is because some of the raw materials are imported, as they are not readily available locally. It also affects the packaging, as the plastic manufacturers have to increase their prices since the raw materials used are imported. Regardless, Majiri still tries to buy other products available locally, like the Shea Butter used in the hair cream.
How Kui Care Contributes to the Growth of Africa
After Majiri started her natural hair journey, she noticed that there were not enough quality products designed for natural hair that are affordable to the African community. So she decided to produce a product of international standards and quality at a reasonably affordable price that would help pamper your hair. This encourages more people in Africa to grow their natural hair and take care of it in the best way – without having to break the bank.
Kui Care is produced in Nigeria thus helping to create local jobs which in turn helps the economy and adds value to the currency.
Majiri sees Kui Care in the nearest future as an established household brand in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. They intend to do this by increasing awareness and by producing more products for hair and also the body. The hope is to become a company their customers will be excited to buy from and tell their friends about.
Kui Care isn’t stopping anytime soon, as they constantly promote their products via the use of social media. They also constantly share reviews of their products from customers on their social media platforms, which has yielded positive results. And on offline awareness, they make use of BRT advertising and any other means to ensure people get to know about them.
Four Ghanaians met at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST Africa), a technology incubator, and hit it off immediately. The reason; besides the fact that they are all technology enthusiasts they are passionate believers in their religion – Christianity. Each of them was also actively involved in their respective local churches.
The end product of this meeting is Asoriba, a web-based management platform for church administration. It was primarily birthed from pooling their collective experiences about the problems African churches face and trying to solve some of them with technology.
The brains behind Asoriba: Nana Agyeman-Prempeh (CEO), Saviour Dzage, Jesse Johnson and Patrick Ohemeng Tutu called the app “a tool/ platform that allows churches to effectively manage, engage and connect with their members”.
Century old problems, 21st century solution
Religious institutions characteristically come off as archaic and rigid. Rightfully so too, as some of the core tenets are entrenched in century old customs and technologies. Time and time again; apologists, skeptics, adherents and bystanders have had debates about whether these tenets should evolve with time and technology. Or stay rigid and retain their orthodoxy. It is a tough nut to crack.
In one such discussions an acquaintance told me that the idea of churches using Point Of Sale (POS) terminals as a means of collecting tithes and offerings was rather desperate. But given the rise of technology and the diversification into cashless economies, isn’t ensuring that churchgoers can give their offerings easily, in itself, an act of service?
Asoriba’s creators, by making the app, seem to share my opinion – or at least a variant of it.
The heart of this web and mobile application is giving a technology based solution to some of the African church’s problems. These include: managing membership data and finances, easy communication with members and real time information about events and programmes.
As a church member you can download your church devotionals from the app, watch a live stream and download services. You can give tithes, offerings and pledges, receive event notices, send prayer requests and communicate with other church members. This last feature is perhaps the most impressive of all. It allows Christians to talk about sensitive issues bordering on life, money, health, sex and spirituality. Topics they might feel self conscious about and unsafe to say elsewhere. Kind of like a Christian-only Facebook.
As a church administrator or leader you can manage and monitor member data, church finances and attendance. You can receive notifications on member birthdays and special functions, track prayer request history. There are also features to manage the different branches under your church by transferring workers to other branches or groups, give out instructions in real time and do follow ups on new members.
The platform is basically a virtual assistant.
Get on the wave
All you have to do is go to the website at Asoriba.com, register your church and urge your members to download the app and connect. It is as easy as that. For churches with 100 members and below it is even free!
The app is available at the Google Play Store, the iOS store, and the Microsoft Store.
Service to humanity
Every business thrives on profit and needs money to survive, but beyond that there is a deeply inspiring ideology to the App. Nana described Asoriba as “a Christian technology company setup to win more souls, using technology as a tool”. Showing the company as sincerely service driven, with very serious religious undertones.
“We want to be able to know people came to Christ through our tools/ platform and we want to be able to account for the number of these people who got to know Gods word through us”, he said. Maybe that is where religion needs to be – in a place where it encourages technology and doesn’t see it as a competition of sorts.
The team at Asoriba ultimately believe that “Church should go beyond the typical Sunday service” and they want to “put your entire church experience in your hands everyday and everywhere.”
Women all over the world are standing up to be counted in all spheres of human endeavour. Tara-Jayne Manufor is one of these women! Her line of beauty products, Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics is independent brand to watch out for! In her own words: “Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics was created as an expression for everything glamorous. All of us women like to hold ourselves as ‘bad and boujee’. I wanted to create a line that incorporates this movement.”
Nigerian born Tara-Jayne Manufor, the CEO of the cosmetic brand Bougëë Beauty, is one of them. Tara-Jayne has always loved lipsticks, lip glosses and lashes so much, she wanted to create her own colours and have a brand where “everything is popping”! So she decided to create a brand that could cater for women in her category.The UK based CEO presently works in the property industry, managing properties and facilities. She co-owns the clothing line Amèn London and has a degree in creative writing. She is also a trained scriptwriter for films and theatre!
Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics was launched in London, UK in December 2017. It boasts of exquisite quality and long lasting, cruelty free Matte Liquid Lipsticks and 3D Real Mink Lashes. It’s a brand made for women who want to feel glamorous and take pride in their appearance while feeling their best at all times.
In the month of June 2018, Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics will launch its range of lip stains in Nigeria at all Hubmart stores. In the coming months, the African brand is looking at expanding their lash range and add more vibrant colors in the lipstick collection. The lip stain comes in six glamorous shades namely Loyalty, Badass Mama, Dazzle Dazzle, Brazen Beauty, Nudicious and Simplicity!
The Lip Stains sell for £12.50 each, while the Mink Lash is sold for £10 each. All products are available via the online shop www.bougeebeauty.com. Shipping is available worldwide. You can also connect with the brand on their social media platforms.
Facebook: Bougee Beauty
Bougëë Beauty Cosmetics is very particular about the standard of their products. The brand is against any form of animal testing and paraben-free. Tara-Jayne works alongside a lab in Europe to produce and choose all the lip colours and lash styles. She also tests all products herself so as to make sure customers receive the best value for money.
At the heart of the Bougëë Beauty Brand is the notion to create a brand that can give back to society! For this they have commited to donating 10% of all annual profits to nominated charities around the world.
Bougëë prospects massive growth this year. Tara-Jayne is saying she wants “more people to know about our products which will result in more sales. That will mean more money can be donated to those most in need. Being able to be a blessing onto others means a lot to me and is my driving force for success.”
Jide Ipaye has always been a sneaker-head, but while growing up, he began to find it difficult to find shoes that fit his big size 48 feet and suited his style. This is what drove him to learn how to make shoes and ultimately birthed the brand, KEEXS.
Keexs founder, Jide Ipaye.
In a market where sales is driven by identity, the African voice is missing. This is one of the things that KEEXS founder, Jide Ipaye is tackling by pioneering Africa’s first innovative and social oriented footwear brand.
In addition to addressing a need in the market, Keexs incorporates a humanitarian and socially conscious aspect into their brand. 10% of their profit is given to charity. Also, in employing Nigerians and Africans in the creative process, more jobs are created, and more money is ploughed back into the economy, cementing their claim as Africa’s first innovative and socially oriented footwear brand.
Keexs’ brand and products represent Africa, in every sense. From their logo, which is a graphical rendition of “chop knuckle” – a fist bump, to the prints, and the brand colours; red and black, which represent passion, strength and black pride respectively.Most of the shoe designs come in bright colours, which would appeal to a more youthful and expressive audience. While some of their designs, like the Ah-free-can and the Eyo are inspired by Africans and African tradition, there is a unique African story behind all their shoes. The Ah-free-can features Fela’s face, while the Eyo slip on has an Eyo masquerade imprinted on it.
So, while Nike makes shoes that have the American flag, American heroes and superheroes, or the dollar sign imprinted on them, we also have Keexs here, using shoes to tell stories that we can identify with, and that we are a part of.Now, I won’t jump the gun and say that “we have our own Nike now” because that would be incorrect. We do not have “our own Nike” – whatever that means, and I am not even sure we want one. What we do have, however, is our own Keexs. A brand, by us, and, for us.
Copping a Pair.
Getting a pair of Keexs shoes is as easy as typing Keexs. Yep!All you need to do is go to their website at keexs.com and order a pair, or check for a list of online vendors and physical stores where you can get them here. The prices range between N7,999 – N17,999 ($22 – $50).KEEXS footwear is socially conscious, innovative and affordable.While African fashion industry is looking inwards to create magic with our locally sourced materials, we advice you to turn it up a notch, put on a pair of Keexs, and step into identity.
Laide Fash is a contemporary women’s wear line launched on the 23rd of September 2017 by Laide Hazeez-Agbaje and has since served quality bespoke wears for the average woman. Laide Fash seeks to create functional, contemporary pieces that can be worn in multiple ways without degrading its top-notch quality. The reason for this is to make a particular piece serve different purposes.
About the Founder and the Brand
Laide Hazzez-Agbaje is an entrepreneur with expertise in business development and integrated marketing communication. She’s also a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK and an Associate member of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations. Beyond these, she considers herself a simple person who’d rather fit into shirt and jeans for comfort and defines her perfect outfit as one that enables her to dress up and dress down, which is exactly what she’s doing with her brand.
In an interview with ISOKO AFRICA, Laide talks about how excited she was on the launch of her brand in September, and in her words, “it is the feeling that people are finally going to see my designs and I can showcase my creativity to the world”.
The inspiration behind the birth of this brand is quite simple, as Laide decided to push creativity with very simple designs by just adding a twist to it. Laide’s taste of fashion isn’t the usual one we see everyday and she feels there are many other women out there who wants the simple, yet sophisticated look. Laide Fash brand is the answer to that!
Laide’s designs are very creative and it will take a fashion-forward lady to look at the pieces with these designs and find multiple ways to wear them. An example of this is the “unusual shirt dress & the side twist dress”. It looks like Laide Fash is ready to pull us all out from our comfort zones to try something new entirely.
Who Can Wear the Laide Fash Brand?
Laide Fash is for the woman who is not afraid to wear something different; who is ready to go all out to experiment diverse creativity in fashion. According to Laide, she pictures the kind of women she would love to see in her designs, and in her words, “they all have something in common; strong women who are passionate about what they do and are not afraid to embrace their individuality”. This is who the Laide Fash brand is for, and with many women standing up for their rights today and embracing all that they are and have to offer, we can boldly say Laide Fash is for the woman of today who is ready to rise against all odds.
Facts about the Laide Fash Brand
Laide Fash has birthed two collections, namely: AW17 and FW18
Laide Fash has been worn by known socialites like Eku Edewor, Tracy Nwakpa and more
“The unusual shirts” which is a best seller, has been sold to over 100 clients from different parts of the world
The brand has a growing social media presence of over 3000 followers already.
Prices are quite competitive
They make use of quality fabrics and ensure every design goes through the quality control department to check for errors
The finishing of the designs are also checked thoroughly
What Does the Future Hold for Laide Fash?
If Laide Fash could achieve all of these in just 6 months of existence, we can only wonder how much more will be done in the space of one year, let alone 5 years or more. The future looks really promising for Laide Fash and we are eager to see the many sides yet to be unveiled. Right now, the brand focuses on making contemporary shirts and cocktail dresses for women, but Laide reveals that they are also in the process of collaborating with another fashion house to birth a collection just for men. Men should be ready to have a taste of this new brand redefining the norm in the fashion industry.
With many fashion lines launching in Africa today, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd and make your brand appealing to your audience. This is why Laide Fash choose to be this creative with her brand, to ensure she doesn’t blend with the crowd. Laide Fash is that African Fashion Brand you really should watch out for!