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From Clay to Candlelight: kindled, The Brand Illuminating Zimbabwean Heritage

Updated: Jan 23


Source: @khanya_collection_zw | Photo Credits: @tino_chimuka


In the past 120 years, the world has become smaller and smaller. The introduction of commercial airlines in 1914 has meant that international and intercontinental travel is no longer a luxury attainable only by the top 1%. Road networks have also seen a great improvement. And as such, the trade of goods and ideas is something that many more of us are able to participate in.


There is a lot to be gained in this Age of Information that we live in, but there is also an unavoidable fear that this new wave of globalisation will lead to the erasure of traditional cultural practices.


This is where brands like kindled, and its debut collection, “khanya collection”, enter the picture.


“The khanya collection is a confluence of authentic African artistry and scent. Founded in March 2022 by Zimbabwean-born Yeukai, the collection tells an African story grounded in clay.”

kindled is a clayworks brand and the brainchild of Yeukai, a young Zimbabwean artisan. The brand seeks to share the Zimbabwean art of clay sculpting with other Zimbabweans and the greater world population.



In an interview, Yeukai described kindled as “inspired by her grandmother who was fond of the tradition ‘yekuumba hari’ [mould clay pots].”


kindled’s first collection, titled “khanya collection,” reflects this heart with its handmade candles and reed diffusers. In each of the 6 original pieces that the collection offers, Yeukai pays homage to her grandmother and her Shona-Ndebele heritage.





Sustaining a business is not easy for anyone, and the difficulty only rises when you are running the business alone.


Through the ups and downs of creating the pieces, managing the admin, and taking charge of the marketing, Yeukai has remained steadfast in her desire to tell African stories grounded in clay. She attributes this resilience to the support of her family and friends.



The second kindled collection will be launching in 2024, and more homeware will be coming at a future time. I’m excited to see how these new pieces will continue to celebrate Zimbabwean culture.


With brands like this on the scene, we can rest easy knowing our stories are being preserved and shared with love and respect.

 

To learn more about kindled, visit their official Instagram page.


To learn about other Zimbabwean brands, follow the official Movement Instagram page.


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