From its very creation, to everyday running of business matters till date - women have always been a focal point of Afri-root collective. The founder, Ms. Ritah Nakandi envisioned plight-free, prosperous women in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and is making a world of difference by materializing their immense talent. She is actively engrossed with them, finding practical ways to assist them.
The grueling challenges
Poverty, as a menace has engulfed large parts of East Africa. It also bears associated bothers of instability and insecurity. It is grim to take care of the families, and women have to come up to make things work- at times being the only bread-winner for large families. Agriculture generates a large chunk of opportunities. That being said, craft-making has been a very promising art as well as commercial prospect. It has been carried from one generation to another, making the handicrafts exquisite, splendid. Since is requires no formal education, most women wish to earn a living out of craft-making.
However, most of the times, they face a gloomy challenge of finding markets or trade fairs- particularly on the international scene. The business circles for such crafts are already established. The cheaply and industrially produced in far-off locations often get prioritized while the real talent of artisans remains behind the scene. The lack of opportunities only furthers the quandary of women in this part of the word.
Seeking for a befitting solution
Afri-root collective has taken an initiative, as Ms. Ritah aimed to find them trade fairs and markets, and continues to do so. It is not just about “helping” these artisans- considering their enthralling skills, she felt compulsive to showcase their flair to the world. While being the member of Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Association (UWEAL), an association seeking to bring out women entrepreneurs, she found out about these ladies with immense talent yet failing to sell their handicrafts.
In 2006, she commenced the long road to success to these women, by exhibiting the crafts at a fair in US. People fell short of words in appreciation. In 2013, the online platform, aptly named as Afri-root Collective appeared- purposefully allowing the customers to find and attain exotic handicrafts. Although still very young, the venture promises a lot. Score of products sold, and a substantial part of earning ploughed back to further develop the endowed artisans.
The practical hope
Women were the central objective behind the creation of Afri-root collective, and will continue to be empowered. Indeed, Ms. Ritah could be seen channeling her objectives and efforts in a superlative way she envisioned.