What you’ll find when browsing online store vuuqa.com are beautiful gems that reflect fond memories of home through design and fabric. Vuuqa is an intricate fusion of the word ‘suuqa’ (meaning market in Somali) and ‘vuka’ (meaning to rise or get up in isiZulu, and to traverse or cross over in Kiswahili), and the store feels like traversing a market.

The store’s founders, Kenya-born Horesia Nyawade and South African Tshiwela Ncube, say their dream is to sell African products from across the continent under one portal, while promoting local small business owners.

“Our collaborators are carefully and individually sourced by members of our team to bring the finest quality products right to your doorstep – worldwide,” they say.

The store features beautiful T-shirts, summer loafers, caps and jewellery.

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Ankara Print Senegalese Loafers: R300. Pictures: Supplied
Suave Traveller’s Backpack R750
African Print Bomber Jacket R600
Tribal Rucksack R400
Pyramid Chic Ankara Bracelets R150
Mama Africa Earrings R150PHOTOs: supplied

“Some of our creators are passionate about their craft, and therefore have little to no time to dedicate and manage their online presence,” the businesswomen say about their decision to opt for the online retail space.

“The online world is tricky, and a mistake can easily damage one’s reputation, however, it’s also full of opportunities that, if done well, can make life much easier, and increase sales through new markets that wouldn’t have previously known about your brand.”

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The brands that are chosen to feature on Vuuqa, such as Anko Brand, Ark of O Designs, Mamelo Creation and Fashion, and Suave, believe that the future of Africa depends on its citizens.

“They are the risk takers who entrusted us with their skills and merchandise to bring the Vuuqa dream to life. They all come from different backgrounds, representing different countries and cultures within the continent.”