African Contemporary Photography

After the icy blasts across Europe in late February we can now see signs of Spring everywhere. The bulbs we planted last year are starting to push through the ground and the afternoon light has brightened. Spring brings with it new life, renewal and a desire to shake off the heaviness of winter hibernation and look forward to the increased light, longer days and change of wardrobe. Just as we put our winter coats away and pull out our spring jackets so we do this with our homes. We often give our homes a refresh and spring clean once winter is over. Why do we use the term ‘Spring Clean’? Imagine back to a time before electricity when in Northern Europe and the US homes were heated with wood and coal. Over the course of winter the soot residue from these fires would build up on walls and in the curtains and furnishings.  The best time to dust and clean the house was in spring once it became warm enough to open the windows and door to let fresh air in and allow the dust to blow out. In addition to spring cleaning I would advise you go further than that: look at each space in your home and ask yourself these questions: Does the current layout still work? Could some of these items be rearranged for a different look? Sometimes we get stuck in a design rut and stop noticing the space around us. Move an armchair, add a coffee table. Would that rug you have in the bedroom look better in the living room? Changing up the textiles and decorative items can transform the feel of a space. You don’t stay exactly the same from one year to the next, so why should your home? Give it the chance to reflect your personality and your life as you live it.   Photography © Thabiso Sekgala. Courtesy the artist & The Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg and Cape Town.   In the early part of the twentieth century, in Africa as in Europe, photography was not easily accessible to the ordinary person. Cameras were the toys of the rich, as the materials and chemicals required to … Continued Read More


– BRINGING AFRICA HOME – EDITOR‘S LETTER After the icy blasts across Europe in late February we can now see signs of Spring everywhere. The bulbs we planted last year are starting to push through the ground and the afternoon light has brightened. Spring brings with it new life, renewal and a desire to shake off … Continued Read More

Basketry is back

Browsing on Pinterest the other day I was stuck by how much woven basketry has made a comeback. With a renewed interest in traditional skills and hand-crafted products African basket and grass weaving is part of this trend. At KUDU we stock many items that have been made using a variety of grass weaving techniques; … Continued Read More

Fractals in African Design

KUDU is about embracing a contemporary African interior style and I am always looking for new ways in which to convey that African design is about many styles, not just one look. When thinking of ‘ African interior design’ there is a type of look that often springs to people’s minds.  This is a style … Continued Read More

African Contemporary Photography

A New Year always brings with it time for reflection; on the year that has passed and the year ahead.  Many of us make resolutions that this year will be different, we will try to do better in our lives. We want to strive to become fitter, drop the bad habits, create good patterns and … Continued Read More

African Wax Print

This month we have just taken delivery of a set range of Babatunde for Kudu laptop sleeves. I have one for my laptop and have been using it for over a year and it still looks great. There is something so joyful about wax print that even something as boring-looking as a laptop looks better … Continued Read More

10 Facts from Papier Maché to Fynbos…

 FACT 1: Even though the name is French, papier maché originated in China, where paper was invented. Papier maché  technique then spread to Japan and Persia and eventually became popular in France in the 17th century.   Photo credits: Stills taken from Mr Price Wola Nani Colab Video   FACT 2: Wola Nani helps improve … Continued Read More

Time for Tea with KUDU

Recently I have had cause to reflect on the nature of life. It is fragile, beautiful, difficult and endlessly interesting.  In the context of KUDU our homes are filled with objects that in the words of de-clutter queen Marie Kondo ‘spark joy’. I am surrounded by items that give me comfort, tell a story and … Continued Read More

Krobo Beads

The spotlight this week is on powdered glass beads, or what is often referred to as Krobo beads. Sourced from Ghana and named after the Krobo people with whom the traditional manufacture and cultural use of these beads is associated they are beautiful to look at. Krobo beads are made from powdered glass that is … Continued Read More

KUDU turns one!

Three years ago I was on maternity leave with my infant daughter and deep in planning for my dream business.  I asked myself why it was not possible to find online what I wanted to buy from Africa. I told myself that someone else would surely come along and launch something to fill the gap … Continued Read More

Stylish Textiles from Mungo

One of my favourite things about being able to write this blog is to deepen my knowledge about African cultures and share that with others. This month we are pleased to be showcasing luxurious cotton homewares are from our favourite South African weavers, Mungo. Designing and weaving all its products at its mill in Plettenberg … Continued Read More

The Story of Namji Dolls

It is always interesting to find out the stories behind the origins of the beautiful objects I come across when sourcing for Kudu. One such example is Namji dolls which are not only stunning to look at; they also have a cultural significance. Originating from the Dowayo/ Namji ethnic group in north-west Cameroon, these dolls … Continued Read More

Tell me more about… wire and beadwork

  Beadwork is widespread through the cultures of Africa. In early times ostrich shells, clay and seed pods were used to create jewellery, decoration and adornment. In more recent times glass beads have replaced these and one of the main exporters of glass beads to South Africa is the Czech Republic.         … Continued Read More

Collection of the Month: People of the Sun

  Venturing a little further north into the African continent we have found the aptly-named People of the Sun. Representing a group of cooperatives based in Malawi that are encouraged to use their considerable artisanal skills to create objects with modern design appeal. Remaining with the animal theme they have produced these delightful two-piece hand-carved … Continued Read More

Spring is coming!

On the school run this morning I noticed that the mornings here in the Northern Hemisphere are finally getting lighter. Instead of making our way to school and work through winter darkness with only street lights and reflective clothing to aid us on our way, there is now weak dawn light in the sky by … Continued Read More


Photo Credit: West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song.   I have made no secret of the fact that much of my initial inspiration for KuDu was born out of a love for the creative traditions of Southern Africa. I am also really interested in learning about cultural and creative practise and traditions in other regions of … Continued Read More

Collection Of The Month: Gone Rural

It feels incredibly lucky to have come across the work of the team at Gone Rural, as the work produced by this brand is so beautiful that each piece feels like a collector’s item. Founded in Swaziland in the 1970s as a small shop that sold, among other things, local handicrafts Gone Rural now engages … Continued Read More

7 Essential Tips To Decorating Your Home

7 Essential Tips To Decorating Your Home I cannot count how many times people have said to me ‘’Oh, interiors aren’t my thing at all’’. This cannot be true, as most people fill their homes with objects that they like and have chosen. Your home and the way you choose to furnish is an expression … Continued Read More

Kudu Featured on Akatasia

Questions With Thandi Mbali Renaldi, Founder of Online Boutique KuDu Excerpts taken from Akatasia Blog Post: KuDu is an online boutique that specialises in ‘beautiful homeware, decor, accessories and lifestyle goods from the African continent’. In a recent interview with founder Thandi Mbali Renaldi, we learn about the inspiration for KuDu and the company’s stance on ethically sourced products.   … Continued Read More

Kudu featured on Atelier Fifty Five

Design: Interiors Boutique KuDu Home Redefining the Way We View African Design Excerpts taken from Atelier Fifty Five’s Blog Post: ‘Africa is Beautiful. Africa is Home.’ Two concise, yet perfectly self explanatory statements that define the ethos of KuDu Home, a stylish online interiors boutique that presents covetable curated collections of rare artifacts, luxurious contemporary … Continued Read More

Do African Things Look The Same?

Many years ago I was introduced via friends to a contemporary dancer. I think his name was S’bu. Anyway, he was about to go on a tour of Europe with the dance troupe he belonged to. I expressed enthusiasm at this prospect and he only shook his head wearily. ‘’I have a Master’s degree in … Continued Read More

The Story of KUDU

At last, here we are with our brand new storefront, a range of products in stock and a whole host of exciting ideas! The question you might be wondering is what is KUDU how did it get here? KUDU started as a small idea three years ago in my mind when, after jettisoning most of my holiday … Continued Read More

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