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Dare to dream big
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ISOKO AFRICA means African Market in the Swahili Language and our vision is to influence your habits to Shop Africa every moment. We deliver to you the best and most authentic of Africa's Brands from Pan-African Companies ranging from Startups, Tech, Products, Services and Marketplaces that are dominating the Local Market with the niche to compete globally. Discover Stories, Podcasts and Marketplaces on our platform and join our community @isokoafrica on every social media.
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.”
Arami, translated as ‘my body’ in Yoruba, is a Nigerian based Beauty brand founded in October 2016 by Ore Runsewe, with a major purpose to provide natural beauty essentials for a simple, fuss-free routine. Arami is really particular about treating the mind and body right and keeping it free from junk or stress, which is why it has the tagline “your body is a temple”. That sounds religious at a first glance, but it only signifies how much Arami cares about the body.
How it all Began
After Ore Runsewe moved to Nigeria, she had to constantly rely on family and friends to bring back beauty supplies from the UK or US, which got tiring at some point, that the best bet would have been to look for alternatives around her. She was particular about getting natural products that would work for her and also compliment her pursuit for a natural lifestyle.
While making her research, Ore realised how effective and affordable some local supplies are in Nigeria, and this includes the globally cherished Shea Butter and the African Black Soap. This realisation then inspired her to start something that would give these trusted essentials a new identity in Nigeria and beyond. Today, we have Arami Essentials. How interesting!
Products and Packaging
Arami Essentials can be used for the skin and the hair and safe to use on the face. There are 5 products, including:
The Glow Oil is the most popular product, and according to Arami, it is because of the signature scent and the fact that it is easily absorbed into the skin.
These products are easy to use and help to fight skin and hair woes, such as acne, wrinkles, dandruff and stretch marks and also serve as excellent exfoliators, cleansers and moisturisers.
Arami is as particular about packaging as they are with their products, and since they deliver fuss-free routine beauty products with simple and natural ingredients, they make simple and clean designs to level up.
Prices of these products range from N2000 to N5000, which is reasonably affordable.
Amazing Facts to Know About Arami
Beyond the beautiful and admirable packaging of the Arami products, there are many other fascinating things about this brand that you should know, some of which include:
They make use of Shea Butter, which is known for its powerful healing and moisturising benefits
They are consistent with production
They are currently working on expanding their stockists within Nigeria and Africa and hoping to expand on a larger scale to a global audience
They are particular about customer satisfaction and committed to giving them an appealing buying experience; this includes attaching promise cards to their products.
They also hope to encourage self-love with their product
How Arami is Promoting Africa
In an interview with ISOKO Africa, Arami points out the many ways their brand touches Africa, and we can boldly say that it is representing Africa one move at a time. Here are some reasons why:
The trigger for launching Arami stemmed from Ore Runsewe realizing that Africa wasn’t commonly featured as a key destination for finished beauty products. This is mainly due to issues regarding global quality and export requirements, which Ore knew had to change
Shea Butter, which is the main ingredient for their products, is commonly sourced in West Africa
Most of the ingredients used are sourced in Nigeria, a land of untold raw materials
Arami aims to serve as a platform for positioning Africa at the forefront of the global beauty and promote other flourishing African brands. They also prioritize boosting awareness around locally sourced ingredients, like Shea Butter and African Black soap. This is to get more African women involved in producing the best quality. Apparently, more good hands in the industry will yield better and faster results if effectively worked on.
By doing all these, Arami is constantly promoting the local industry, and with plans to extend to other African countries soon, we really can’t wait to see what the future holds for this beauty brand in Africa.
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.
Horseman shoes, a Ghanaian based footwear manufacturing company, founded seven years ago has gone from strength to strength, thus showing that working one’s vision eventually leads to success. Tonyi Senayah, CEO, Horseman shoes graduated from the University of Ghana in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. At that time he had no ambitions to become an entrepreneur.
How it Started
In his interview with DW, he told of how the idea came about:
“In 2009 I bought a pair of shoes from a local manufacturer and wore them to work. My colleagues were impressed and wanted some, too. Even after work, I still had people calling me to place orders. I realised that I could make a business out of this.”
Horseman Shoes seeks to become the biggest footwear manufacturers in Africa in terms of employment and brand preference. Horseman shoes has various products ranging from men’s dress shoes, unisex sandals, slippers, school sandals and safety boots. In 2014, the CEO, Tonyi Senaya launched Horseman shoes’ first showroom located in Kokomlemle in the state capital of Accra, where members of the public are afforded the opportunity to examine the products as well as shift focus from request based orders to that of mass production. Senaya who was endorsed by the former President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama during the State of the Nation Address in 2014 shot the Horseman Shoes brand to the forefront of the minds of millions of people. He has since been referred to as the “President’s shoemaker”.
Awards & Recognition
Horseman shoes has so many awards in its coffers amongst which are the Global Professional Achievers Young Entrepreneur 2011 Award, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 (Youth Excellence Awards by Waves International), Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd Outstanding Entrepreneur Award 2013, Young Enterprise Company of the Year 2013 (2nd Ghana Industry Awards by Association of Ghana Industries), Brand discovery of the year at the maiden edition of the SME Ghana Awards in 2014.
Horseman Shoes seek to provide to the Ghanaian working class quality footwear that reflect our status, taste and identity. We want to create a product by ourselves and for ourselves and thereby creating an avenue for our young men and women with the skill in craftsmanship and arts to explore their talents and abilities to fulfillment of their dreams. Horseman shoes works to meet its teeming customers desires with innovative designs year in year out.Speaking on challenges faced, Senaya said;
“The most important challenge to overcome is the fear of failure. If you are able to overcome these doubts about whether you can make it or not, then I believe all other obstacles are surmountable.’