0 8 mins 4 yrs

Vuka Darkie

 

Vuka Darkie is an African narrative about African and world issues from an African perspective. In all efforts, the emphasis is on African cultural regeneration or renaissance. Hence, always there is that striving for a unification of yester year memory with today’s activity so as to have a properly gauged compass to recognize the road to tomorrow.

Now, you will find that the content published in our publication is on varying facets of African Culture; be it in the arts, sciences, etc. Also, a strong passionately burning fire in our souls is that merging with our spiritual self, construing positive solutions to the innumerable obstacles before the continent by collective contribution.

Vuka Darkie is an essential vehicle for Afrocentric products and services, this stems from the lack of positive black narratives. It is important to make available, for the African community, positive symbols that truly reflect and represent who they are, giving the necessary factually correct chronological account of our past at the same time, as well as those positive elements that seem to have defied the ‘undefiable’ and stood the test of time and conquest present in our mist. Whence, the Mama Kea brand was birthed from an ancient surviving craft of weaving.

The question of when the Vuka Darkie journey began is officially with the first publication on the Vuka Darkie website in the April of 2015. However, the seed has been there from before. The year 2015 happened to be manifestation of something that had its various gestation periods in the lives of the founding members and their environs (influences) – whence the reason for starting. It had to come out because of the influences and experiences on us as founding members, but also the need for a cohesion of African bodies for the sake of salvaging the face of humanity. It was to answer a natural call, a call heeded by a number of giants before us and many of our contemporaries, a call for the rightful position of the African in the world and in time. It is a cultural appropriation and reclamation of African humanity.

Research forms the backbone of the body of work undertaken by Vuka Darkie. We attempt by all means that the material we publish is archival so as to remain relevant in times to come and can continually be revisited, from the oldest to the most recent. This is made possible by the people we are blessed to associate with that work in developing the themes and making the relevant features happen for the magazine.

Vuka Darkie is engaged in work with people of varying backgrounds. From academics who contribute they’re research for our publication; to students who intern with us and the invaluable writers whose material we have published. Some of the written articles are now available as audio, in podcast, from interviews and features conducted by Power FM 98.7 (the links to those interviews are on the Vuka Darkie facebook page and we will be uploading them on this website). There’s other media recorded in from other platforms yet to be uploaded.

What we aim to achieve is to make available relevant information necessary for the eradication of the biggest crippler – ignorance. The dissemination of such information is to arm people with the true knowledge of the world and they’re place in it, from which they will then grow the tree of true freedom and hence freewill.

And the time is always now. There is no other present. The now may all that we have.

Mama Kea

 

Vuka Darkie gave birth to Mama Kea and helped nourish the Mama Kea brand ‘til it could walk the breadths of the continent to the diaspora. Mama Kea is a hand-woven footwear brand founded officially in the April 2016. In it is the reinterpretation of an ancient African art and science of weaving in the form of shoes. It is a craft passed from generation to generation; evident a number of African crafts from clothes, thatch roofing, basketry, etc. Mama Kea stems from “Mama”, meaning mother, “Kea”, meaning home where the heart, soul and spirit is. The brand represents the unconditional, undying motherly love, comfort and warmth given to us by nature. The shoes are hand-woven with the same love and an undying passion. The shoes are available in varying sizes and various colours. We also custom make according to customers specifications.

Our designs are widely inspired by the rich and diverse African culture and nature. In some of our designs we have incorporated pan African set of colours; which comprises the Red, Green and Black founded by the honourable Marcus Garvey (A great African leader that has contributed tremendously in BCM). Moreover, we have Red, Green and Gold pan Africanist set of colours which form an integral and symbolic part of African sovereign colours. We incorporate such colours on our designs to represent African aspirations for their sovereignty. Some of the colours are complements that when combined together they form the white colour, like red-orange and purple; red, green and gold/yellow; etc. Other colours are from intuition and others represent the earth, plants, animals and the many inspirations in nature.

We use art and design as a revolutionary and political instrument to inspire black initiative. Our designs are symbolic of the African culture. Essentially, we are pushing black consciousness through what we produce and retail.

Mama Kea is an integration of the young and old generation. We work in harmony with a group of elders who translate and coordinate the colours and designs into a work of art shoe.

Our brand has been well received to a large extent that we have set a strong footprint spanning the continent to the diaspora, we do not recognize the borders, and we deliver in all corners of the world. The aim is to constantly localize (in Africa) our manufacturing and internationalize our distribution channel.

We attribute our progress to the collective effort of a solid team; from our models, photographers, shoe designers and brand ambassadors at large. We have pooled our unique skills sets and resources in harmony in order to achieve one common goal. Everyone is clear of their responsibilities and how to oversee them. Fellow shoe designers craft them shoes from the comfort of their homes, then we courier directly to the convenient spot desired by the customer.

Our vision with Mama Kea Footwear is to set a strong footprint in all corners of the world. And turn this brand into a super powerhouse brand. Moreover we believe that strong black brands build more strong black brands, therefore our primary objective is to introduce more product lines under Mama Kea, so that we can create sustainable employment opportunities and entrepreneurs for our community. In the pipeline we will also be piloting a Mama Kea Academy, which will be geared towards transferring the art and skill of weaving to our fellow people.

Visit the online store to browse and buy.

By Themba Ka Mhlanga and Khulani Sikhosana

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *