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Meet the Artisans

Who make our collections possible

Profiles are provided below to familiarize you with each individual cooperative and the artisans that work with them. These artisans are from traditional rural communities where basic needs such as food, clothing, medical care, and education are often a real struggle. The artisans craft their unique products to help support their families and bring hope for the future. Most of the artisan products are made from natural and sustainable resources in Rwanda. Each partner company has obtained the rights from the artisans to provide their names, stories and pictures. 

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Azizi Life

Since 2008, Azizi Life has cultivated fair trade partnerships across Rwanda promoting excellence in craftmanship. Their collaboration with artisans and designers offers a range of décor crafted from local, natural materials. Through their Rwandan-led nonprofit, they invest in and support local community projects. These partnerships provide Jabulani Creations the ability to bring products that directly reflect our values as company to our Basket + Wall Hangings Collection.

Jabulani Creations prides itself in providing clients products that directly reflect our values while ensuring the fair treatment of all artisans. Azizi Life was discovered by our founder who was suppose to travel to Rwanda in 2020, but due to COVID-19, she had to return before ever reaching Rwanda. We have optimistically rescheduled this trip for 2021 with hopes of being able to spend some time with Azizi Life and the artisan partners.

Images and artisan content courtesy of Azizi Life

Fulbeh Fowu Textile

Mohamed S. Bah is a Liberian textile designer who specializes in traditional tie-dye. Based in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, Mamadou is married with seven children, four girls and three boys. Tie-dye is his passion in life and the means by which he supports his family.

Mohamed grew up loving colors his whole life. As a young boy, there was a Gambian woman near his home by the name of Ma Hawa. Ma Hawa would soon become a huge influence in Mohamed's life. She began when she would give him, his brothers and friends money to take to school.

Since Mohamed had this amazing love for colors, he gradually grew a friendship with Ma Hawa the traditional Liberian way with ten kola nuts. She agreed to train him in traditional tie dye and was overjoyed with the prospect of having an apprentice that would carry on this art. He worked with her while continuing to go to school for over five years. When Ma Hawa decided to go back home to Gambia, she left all her materials with Mohamed, gave him her blessing and asked him to promise her that he would continue the legacy. And so, he promised her.

Mohamed's aim is to continue the heritage of ethical Liberian tie dye so future generations in Liberia and around the World will be able to experience this art. As Mohamed Bah says, “I would like people to be encouraged to use the natural elements all around them. I hope some people reading this will be inspired and get their own ideas to use the blessings we have in Nature.”

We are honored to offer Mohamed's one-of-a-kind organically tie dyed scarves and batik. All fabrics are 100% cotton. Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique that allows a design to be printed or drawn onto plain, cotton fabric using melted wax. The fabric is then dyed and the parts of the design, which are covered by the wax, are resisted. After the wax has been removed the original background color of the fabric becomes visible.

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Baba Tree

The Baba Tree Basket Company has been preserving the culture of baskets and the Gurunsi community in Bolgatanga, Ghana for the last 15 years. It’s here that an exquisitely woven Baba Tree community of over 250 artisans practice a time-honoured weaving technique using elephant grass and their very own “rhythm and flow”. Each basket comes directly from the hands of the artisan weavers we collaborate with - energetic, colourful, purposeful. Each luscious curve is the handprint or signature of the weaver who has expertly handcrafted your basket, we celebrate the unique differences in each and every piece.

Images and artisan content courtesy of Baba Tree

Partner Cooperatives

Images and artisan content courtesy of Azizi Life

Ababerarugo Association

Beautifying Our Homes

Marceline Mukamari

Athanasie Muhorak 

Prisca Bivugire

Christine Muhimpundu

Abahuje Cooperative

People With the Same Goal

The founders of Abihuje began with the hope that if they joined their strength and knowledge together, they could work towards a solution. As they began to work together, the group not only grew in skill, but in friendship and mutual support. They opened a savings account to set aside a small amount per month that can then be lent to needy group members. The artisans share that they have put their income towards buying health insurance and clothing, paying school fees, and investing in farm animals. Slowly, they are progressing together towards their goal of overcoming poverty.

Abibumbye Association

People Who Are Together

Members consider themselves a family that helps each other grow and flourish, working together to overcome poverty. One of their few requirements for joining the group is a willingness to teach and share their skills with other cooperative members. The women pride themselves on the diversity of their talents and their ability to come together as one group to perfect their crafts. The cooperative has been working together in Muhanga District since 2008 and has over 20 members.

This “family” has many aspirations, mainly to become a larger cooperative with their own workshop and marketplace. With a larger cooperative, they would have more resources to create associations with more diverse purposes, like cultivating and farming.

Marceline Mukamari

Athanasie Muhorak 

Odette Nyirabahizi

Claudine Uwiragiye

Abizeranye Cooperative

People Who Trust One Another

The women of Abizeranye Cooperative are specialists in weaving baskets of the highest quality. With every stitch, the artisans have their families in mind. Abizeranye members have overcome great obstacles together, and thus chose to name themselves People Who Trust One Another. These neighbors, friends and sisters strive to be a group unified around their craft and their vision for a brighter future.

Claudine Uwiragiye pours passion into each stitch of your Akaneri basket as she hand weaves these works of art.

Abihuta mu Iterambere Cooperative

Racers to Development

Formed when several individual weavers decided to band together to fight poverty, develop themselves, improve their quality of lives and their craft. Within their first year of working together, the artisans were happy to find that they were able to start a savings group, pay for their family’s national health insurance and serve as an example and inspiration for their neighbors. The group’s dream for the future is that members will be able to build or renovate their homes and continue to save for the future. Some members would also like to continue their education. The members of the group have expressed their love for their customers around the world.

Philomen Niyirora

Francine Mukansonera

Odette Nyirabahizi

Claudine Uwiragiye

Dukoranumurava Cooperative

Let Us Work With Courage

Claudine Uwiragiye pours passion into each stitch of your Akaneri basket as she hand weaves these works of art.

Duterimbere Cooperative

Let Us Move Forward Together

Marceline Mukamari

Athanasie Muhorak 

Odette Nyirabahizi

Artisan Group

Kundagaseke Association

Basket Lovers

The 17 women of Kundagaseke “Basket Lovers” Association have dedicated themselves to getting out of poverty: rising above the conditions they used to live in. In addition to farming, the artisans spend their days weaving baskets, coasters, earrings, and bracelets to make enough money to support themselves and their families. The members of Kundagaseke use their weaving time to discuss unity, culture, and reconciliation.

The women of Kundagaseke are seeing their hard work pay off. They have been able to cover their basic necessities, like clothing, shoes, soap, and health insurance, and several have been able to purchase cell phones and invest in land and domestic animals as well. 

Zamuka Associations

Women Progress

Since Zamuka’s formation in 2007, the group has grown in leaps and bounds. The women of Zamuka work in the Rugendabari community in Muhanga District. They are among the best weavers in the region, and have made the significant step of taking on weaving as their profession rather than a side job. The women meet together regularly, working and exchanging advice on everything from weave quality, parenting, to good health practices. Their income from weaving means that they can employ their neighbors, support the local suppliers of raw materials, give business to the community market vendors, and invest in the health of their land and their families. Their children have increased access to nutrition, health, and education.

Alphonsine Mukamurara

Josephine Nikuze

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