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Zinza's about Africa

By unknown | Jun 20, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zenoyise Madikwa

Zenoyise Madikwa

African decor has had more lives than a cat. Its trends have evolved across time and continents.

Over the years, different designers have injected contemporary sophistication into African decor. Gone are the days when it was synonymous with hideous animal hides and scary masks.

Recently, African decor has exploded and came out with vivid colours and bold patterns influenced by the a wave of home furnishing in South Africa.

This is evident in Zinza, a proudly South African decor brand that derived its name from the Nguni word ukuzinza, which means "settle, make yourself at home, be happy in a place".

Four years after its conception, Zinza has opened its flagship store in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. Zinza store manager Brendan Williams said Zinza's creative philosophy draws on the people of Africa; their culture, beliefs, materials and expressions of life.

Andrew Rall, the brains behind Zinza, noticed a growing trend of African influence in music, food and fashion. In 2003 Rall met Donna Azzopardi and Julie Donald of DNA Interior Design. When they heard of Rall's concept they knew it was something they wanted to be involved in.

What followed were three years of sourcing materials, exploring designs and refining a range of contemporary furniture and accessories that would bring Rall's vision to life.

Rall set about conceptualising a range of furniture and decor accessories shaped by world class trends and inspired by Africa. He spent the next three years between the US and Europe, researching international trends and interior design.

"All Zinza products are made in Africa and many make use of community upliftment and empowerment projects. We hope to create and continue an African Renaissance in interior design and employ local design talent and suppliers," said Williams.

Zinza specialises in five furniture ranges.

l The Omani Studded Range, inspired by the doors of Zanzibar, uses studded patterns to frame its rich textured upholstery.

l The Odin Rounded Range echoes the bygone era of Sophiatown with art decor lines and bright fabrics.

l The Memezi Inlaid Range features circular mother of pearl inlays in honour of the Xhosa women who paint their faces with white circles to express their cultural status.

l The Asante Veneered Range combines Zebrano wood and antique copper to create bold patterned furniture that pays tribute to Africa's ancient metal working tradition.

l The Kamba Carved Wood and Upholstered Range draws its influence from the tribes of Africa who carve ceremonial masks to capture images of animals, spirits and ancestors.


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