We love our African continent, from her iconic shape, majestic forests, beautiful people and epic wild life. Our home continent has a lot to offer, pristine beaches, numerous natural resources, precious minerals and metals. The origin of the human race is in Africa, South Africa to be specific. Africa is the mother land. I love our African cultures, we’re ancient and wise. Our rich history and cultural aesthetic is everything, people travel from all over the world to come to Africa. And, when they leave they go with beautiful African decor and art to decorate their swanky homes.
Yes there is a problematic history of Europeans stealing African artifacts and having them on display in their museums. Its almost as if they’re saying look at the work of these mighty cultures and look at how we were able to dominate the African people…
If you watch Top Billing you see some of the fanciest homes in the country and the interior designers mostly uses home decor that’s on trend. So like the copper light fixtures that dangle in the air. Many of the decor that we use in the home is from European culture. From the colours we paint the walls of our homes, the furniture in the home even down to the plates and mugs we use, all have that European sensibility.
I’d like to think, as we are living in the post-colony that there will be a remembrance and celebration of our dynamic African style. You can already see this in how African girls and women are embracing their natural hair texture. And how more and more people are wearing formal clothes made from materials with African prints. This reflects that Africans are considering their culture as sophisticated and elegant. Whereas in the past we were indoctrinated to see our culture and customs as inferior to that of Europeans. But right now, African aesthetics is absolutely on the ascent.
One way we can take back power is to decorate our homes with African elements. I’m sure you could go to some homes in South Africa and they will be decorated in exactly the same way in which homes are in England. You wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. This is of course a result of the colonial enterprise, as they took raw materials like wood from us and sold us processed goods such as dining tables and chairs made from that wood in an exploitative economic relationship. In order for us Africans to spend what little money we had on their processed goods was because they convinced us through oppression that theirs was superior. As well as stamping out the African competition and making it virtually impossible for African businesses to exist as Africans were to be the cheap labour for their businesses.
The shift has already began, we see the Chinese manufacturing companies have already started making clothes, furniture and decor that have the African feel to appeal to South African customers. If you walk into Mr Price home you will see African inspired decor. My suggestion is that we buy our African decor from African vendors and businesses, in that way we know that the money is coming back to fertilize the soil of African entrepreneurship.
So, for the love of home, the African continent and our literal homes, lets celebrate our super cool African artistic taste.
Here Are Some African Decor Ideas
I love this hall way for example. From the colour of the walls and the clay pot that is on top of the wall unit, holding the green reeds, is just a vibe. Embracing African cultural style is akin to embracing the organic as lot of our decor is made from wood, straw and clay, all sourced from the natural world and therefore are environmentally sustainable. As you can see the indoor plants, create a natural ambiance. In our culture we embrace nature and see our indigenous plants as beautiful. In African culture there is respect for Mother Nature.
This outdoor furniture set is goals, for example. Realistically though, this furniture would have to be in a lapa or have a big umbrella over them because you wouldn’t want them to get rained on. Or you could go the more colourful route for outdoor furniture as displayed in the picture below. How epic? I can definitively can see myself doing my African Queen things like playing an African musical instrument on those cushions.
I also love the idea of having indigenous flowers in our vases when we get treated to some flowers. Next time you have guests over or you just like beautifying your space, try indigenous grass flowers like in the picture below.
If you keen for colorful native flowers, you can try South Africa’s national flower the Protea, seen in the picture above. Alternatively, there is also the funky bird of paradise flower, shown in the picture below.
For a more durable and cost effective house plant you can try South African succulents pictured above. The geometry of the petals is so beautiful and there is a definite sense of calm you get when you look at the beauty of nature.
You can have an African print carpet like the one above, but you know what would be cool? An Ndebele geometric print carpet. Wouldn’t that just be fabulous? If you’re into vibrant colors it would be perfect but if you’re into a more monochromatic theme then something like the a bedroom carpet in the picture above is more suited for you.
Why have a regular American style washing basket when you can have a stylish African straw basket? Sure the normal washing basket will probably last longer as it is made from plastic. But we know we need to decrease our plastic consumption, as we have the massive problem of plastic pollution.
How about this African candle for your bedside table? Candles are a cost effective decorative item. Also with our load shedding woes it would be nice to have sexier candles than the tall, thin white ones we normally use.
It’s time for us to embrace our Africanness, it’s not only paying homage to our Ancestors. It is liberation.