African Art

This month south african artist Vusi Mfupi The Paper Boy was featured by Caroline Kaminju on African Colours. AfricanColours is a privately funded organisation engaged in the promotion of African Contemporary Artists and dissemination of Contemporary African art news on the internet.

Young, focused, talented, passionate, successful and dedicated, are some of the adjectives Mbogeni Buthelezi, a plastic collage artist and former art teacher uses to describe his student Vusi Mfupi. Read more on this talented artist at AfricanColours – Vusi Mfupi The Paper Boy.

Vusi Mfupi is a South Afrcan artist, a story teller who uses his collages to depict the daily lives of ordinary people. ‘In my work I look at social aspects of life most of which are very simple,’ he says. ‘I am a very simple person and I want people to relate with my work without any complication. When they read into my art, it’s like a child reading a book’.

Jozi By Vusi Mfupi

Jozi By Vusi Mfupi

Skottkärran, utveckling i Afrika

The Wheelbarrow, development in Africa

Not so long ago I listened to a  captivating development talk from Professor Hans Rosling from Gap Minders. He compared two pictures. An upright beautiful African woman with an African sunset in the background carrying a 20 litre plastic container on her head. The other picture, yet another beautiful African woman, this one pushing 3×20 litre plastic containers in a wheelbarrow. Each woman carrying water.  Without too many words, he had made his point, the second picture showing clear steps towards progress and development.

Riksdagsseminarium 27 januari 2012, Professor Hans Rosling

Vad är då gränsen för att man ska förstå vad fattigdomsgränsen är?

“Jag tycker att den är ungefär så här. Det är att ha råd till en skottkärra, så man får hem tre gånger så mycket vatten. Så hon tackar den svenska industriella utvecklingen för kullagret. Det bäst placerade kullagret sitter i en skottkärra hos en afrikansk kvinna.

Shortening time to collect water saves lives.

A recent article in MedicalXpress shows that more than a third of the world’s population does not have potable water piped into the home. In sub-Saharan Africa, that number jumps to 84 percent. The Stanford study analyzed data from 26 African countries, where it is estimated that some 40 billion hours of labor each year are spent hauling water, a responsibility often borne by women and children. The study goes further to show that shortening the time that women and children spend fetching water can save lives.

The value of a wheelbarrow in Africa can never be underestimated. Wheelbarrows are more than just tools to help with heavy burdens, they are forms of transportation, a symbol of progress and development.

I recently salvaged an old wheelbarrow that was destined for the garbage dump and made it into a garden feature. A gentle reminder of the toils of  numerous women and a symbol of progress and development in Africa.

A wheelbarrow, a symbol of developement in Africa

A wheelbarrow, a symbol of development in Africa

Read more at:


National Geographic Newswatch have captured Tribal Textiles upcycling story.  Amazing Bag by Zambia’s Tribal Textiles Turns Used Sacks Into Fashion.

Founder and director of Tribal Textiles, Gillie Lightfoot, wanted to give something back to the local community of Mfuwe, on the outskirts of South Luangwa National Park. Seeing how many “mealie” sacks were being discarded, Gillie got in touch with the Zambian National Milling Corporation, who were desperate to dispose of their leftover bags. Gillie and her team are now creatively transforming these used sacks into eye-catching bags, purses, and pencil cases. All of the profits from these one-of-a-kind bags go directly to local charity Project Luangwa to help educate children in the Luangwa Valley


A selction of  Tribal Textiles bags, cushion covers, table runners and wall hangings in the  Tribal Art, Fire Range at SavannaHome.


For those who Dare.

För de som vågar.


African Colour Forecast 2013

Plascon, one of Southern Africas largest paint manufactureres released their colour forecast for 2013. The history of Plascon SA stretches back more than a century to 1889, when an enterprising young Welshman named Herbert Evans arrived in Johannesburg and began producing floor polish, carriage varnish, and ready-mixed tinted paints – a first for the country. Plascon have played an important role in modern home decor in larger parts of Southern Africa.

Here are their highlights. I have added products from the Savannahome range in respective colour schemes.

Colour trends are influenced by the mood of society; we are drawn to colours that reflect how we feel. When stressed, we are drawn to gentle blues, greens and neutral colours and when we need a bit of motivation and energy, we crave more energetic reds and oranges. Our uncertain and changing environment has us seeking some balance and harmony in our lives and this led to the forecast theme being called “Balance”.

The forecast consists of four palettes – Simplicity, Contrast, Pause and Dare. The colours in these palettes are designed to help you bring balance and harmony in your home.


This is an honest palette. A base of chalky whites and neutrals appeals to our desire for calm and an uncluttered space – a space where we can relax and refresh our soul. The addition of green links us to nature and the metallics provide a lift and add to the sophistication of this palette.

Plascon Colour Forecast 2013 – “Balance” – Simplicity Palette

Key Influences: Everyday escape, understated elegance, raw textures, copper, antique gold and silver, safari chic, modern sanctuary spaces.

From the Savannahome range

Hand Knitted cushion covers

Hand Knitted cushion covers


This palette sees the continuation of deep blues and greys that have been so popular this year. Light and dark denim blues are also included in the palette. This palette is given an energy boost with the inclusion of high-contrast optimistic, bright yellow and fuchsia pink.

Key influences: 50s urban chic, colour defined spaces, vintage brights, sophisticated energy, optimism.

Tanya Leather Bag

Tanya Leather Bag


Pastel colours have been a highlight of many designer collections on the catwalk, including Ralph Lauren (inspired by The Great Gatsby), Louis Vuitton, Prada and Fendi. These soft washes of colour look as beautiful on walls as they do on the catwalk. This palette of pastels is calming and uplifting and can be easily introduced to a scheme, as they work well with neutrals and greys.

Key Influences: Icy tones, Great Gatsby, 1920s, shimmer and sparkle, nostalgia, soft and subtle.

Butterfly Hot Pink Wall Hanging

Butterfly Hot pink Wall Hanging


Time for us to shift gears and move out of our comfort zones! These zinc toned brights are energy-boosting, without being manic and are great for colour-blocking and feature walls.

Key Influences: Afro-chic, colour-blocked geometrics, folk-inspired art and craft, retro brights, bold minimalism.

Masarurwa Coffee Table

Masarurwa Coffee Table

A Herbal Infusion

I miss my all year round herb garden in Africa. I have struggled to nurture my herb enthusiasm. My seedlings froze soon after I transplanted them at the end of May.

Coriander is a must for my indian dishes.  Indian settlers moved to South Africa in the late 1800s and into Zambia ( Northern Rhodesia)  and Zimbabwe ( Southern Rhodesia) in the early 1900s. When my mother went to school in then Northern Rhodesia, coloured or mixed race children and Indians shared the same schools, so naturally she adopted some of their food culture.  The first meal I was taught to cook, was an indian vegetable curry with aubergines, green beans, peas and potatoes.

Tea drinking, a culture passed down from the English colonial era, lives on in me.  A herbal infusion or fresh herb tea, made from one sprig of rosemary, mint, parsley and thyme (or any herbs of your choice) brewed for a couple of minutes, is a fresh way to start any morning or to end an exhausting day.

Herb Garden, Oregano

Herb Garden, Oregano

Herb garden, Thyme and Rosemary

Herb garden, Thyme and Rosemary

Bunch of herbs from herb garden

Bunch of herbs from herb garden

Herbal Infusion

A Herbal Infusion, compliments to Mel.

Rain on a tin roof

Every african knows the sound of Rain on a tin roof.

Corrugated iron roofing sheets are widely used in Africa, both in heavy industry as well as in remote villages. Low cost iron sheeting has in its own way brought development to many remote areas in Africa.

We visited Lycksele djurpark and my best part of the day was seeking shelter from a sudden downpour under a tin roof.  The sound of Rain on a tin roof , is one of the most nostalgic and comforting sounds I know.

Rain on a tin roof

Rain on a tin roof in Lycksele

Kontrasternas Land

För mig är Zambia ett land av kontraster. Mellan rik och fattig, mellan grönskande regnperiod och dammig torrperiod, mellan hårt arbete och ett lugnare tempo, och mellan de varma jordnära färgerna i vardagen och de färgsprakande tygerna som bärs av kvinnorna i alla sammanhang. Man behöver bara kliva ut på trottoaren mitt i stan för att uppleva alla dessa kontraster.

Varma färger

Vackra slevar som används vid tillagning av den traditionella nshima gröten.

Färgstarka “chitenge” tyger på marknaden.


En lantlig köksö

My Kitchen Island came with me when I moved. It is hand made by a small scale carpenter outside of Luanshya in Zambia. It is made from an African hardwood called Mukwa ((Pterocarpus angolensis). Our new open plan Kitchen in Sweden was designed to accomodate my Kitchen Island. It is one of the most important pieces of furniture in our home. We speand hours centered around it, whether it be baking, serving the family morning breakfast or an evening meal with friends.

My Mukwa Kitchen Island

Grass baskets for bread, enamel storage for cutlery, wireware for kitchen towels.

The  colours of the African Soil.

TIME… a prominent part of the swedish culture.

African inspired pickles and ” knäcke bröd” stand side by side.