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ONUA, West Africa meets Western home styling ONUA, West Africa meets Western home styling
ONUA, West Africa meets Western home styling

ONUA, which translates to siblings in Twi, was born through various motivations. The first being a personal motivation and the second a need for re-education for those who are not familiar with the vastness and the beautify of the African continent.

The personal motivation to start ONUA came in various forms. Siblings Emmanuela and Phillip Frimpong, Ghanaian through and through, were born and raised in the Netherlands before moving to the UK. Well acquainted to 3 very different cultures, they got to experience the downside and upside of globalisation.

Having been exposed to the city life as well as rural living, one thing quickly became obvious to them. The ever-increasing steady state towards globalisation through the integration of cultures.

This, the sibling’s interprets, simply means that there are times where a culture you don’t encounter on a daily basis can get lost. Exploring, experiencing and simply living in your current surrounding’s, can result in one culture preceding the other and therefore under appreciating one over the other.

Emmanuela and Phillip strongly believe in keeping the story of their heritage going and birthed ONUA as a way of keeping their African heritage at the forefront of their minds. Not just for the sibling’s but for the African diaspora who can relate with this.

Secondly, ONUA serves as a vehicle for educating those that aren’t familiar with the West African culture. If one was to play the word association game, gold, natural resources, development, Christianity and great music would be found in the duo’s vocabulary to describe the African content.

However, the reality of these descriptions for someone who is proudly African versus someone who isn’t familiar with the continent can significantly vary. Often times, people hear the word Africa and associate it with bright coloured clothing, safari, wild life, mud huts and poverty due to what the media portrays.

While there’s a degree of understanding as to why some of these associations are made, they are by no means an accurate reflection of the state of Africa today. Many people assume that the African culture and story began and was built on slave trade. This is far from the truth.

The existence of the Adinkra symbols, the meaning behind the Ghanaian Kente material and the amazing folklore of other coastal countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Sierra Leon prove otherwise. So, with that in mind, each ONUA product explores the meaning behind patterns and colours used.

Through homeware, we can and will show the world the true and deeper meaning behind our colourful fabrics and the rich and wise saying’s which shaped our society and morals long before the intervention of the colonist.

Lastly, ONUA aims to bridge the gap of African homeware on the market. Depending on where you are in the world, you can walk into stores like IKEA, John Lewis or shop online on Wayfair and find many different homeware styles. Scandinavian, rustic, modern and contemporary are all ‘standard’ décor styles.

But rarely do you see African interior as a category. Instead, stereotypical animal ornaments, obscure and scary artefacts and leopard print rugs are labelled African if you so happen to see “African homeware”.

ONUA takes western day to day homeware such as lampshades, crockery and cushions and marries these with true West African flavours and aims to solidify and reintroduce what true African interior means. Well, from a West African perspective!

Visit https://www.onua.co.uk/ to see their range.

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