Jambo: African Design in South Africa

WORDS Michaela Stehr PHOTOS Marietha Mostert


Jambo Imports & Exports preserves traditional craft techniques and creates job opportunities for families in countries like Madagascar and Uganda.

Jambo Imports & Exports is a wholesaler that supplies gift shops, boutiques, safari lodges and spas with products such as baskets, jewellery, scarves, handbags and hammam towels.

Since 2004, Brian Swart and Elma Hamman have been working hand in hand with crafters, helping them to develop the skills and techniques learnt and passed down from one generation to the next. They find it special to see the development of new projects and share in the satisfaction of individual crafters when they have perfected and completed new products. Crafters in Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Madagascar, among other countries, produce quality pieces for them using raffia, cotton, wild silk, bone, shells, soapstone and wood.

At both the SARCDA International and SARCDA Christmas 2015 trade shows, held at Gallagher Estate in Midrand in March and August, respectively, Jambo won the award for the best stand.

A list of stockists can be found on the website.