Artiste set to build African yoga-inspired enterprise
Posted Wednesday, September 12 2012 at 15:14
- Zawadi Nyong’o has been an avid yoga practitioner for over three years and is currently building an African yoga-inspired social enterprise - ZeroByZawadi.
- Their first product was the kanga yoga bag. She shared the idea with her cousin, now one of her two business partners, who encouraged her to go ahead. ZeroByZawadi has three parts to it; African yoga-inspired products, events, and production of eco-friendly packaging to promote recycling and upcycling.
- The second product is the kanga covered journal. Before going to bed, she writes a list of everything she is grateful for, and when she wakes up, she writes three “Morning Pages” without pausing or editing.
- The third product was the carrier bags made from old newspapers. She got the idea a few years ago when she visited an antique shop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The bags will be sold to other shops and boutiques to be used as carrier bags.
- At the end of the year, she is looking to add monthly events: Sayari Circles (Sayari means galaxy/universe in Kiswahili). “Sayari Circles” will both promote the yoga way of life as well as focus on different themes such as candle-making; making body scrub from natural ingredients and natural detox juices; simple massage techniques; and Tibetan Singing Bowl meditation circles.
- Ms Nyong’o, started doing yoga in 2000 while attending college in the US, but when she made some drastic changes in her life three years ago, she started practicing it more seriously.
Last October, Ms Nyong’o went to India to do a month of Ayurveda – an alternative plant, herbs and spices based medicine and way of life that is native to India.
During her stay the yoga teacher took her back to basics and with one of India’s yoga gurus’ book “Light on Yoga” by BKS Iyengar, she understood a lot more about yoga and completely changed her approach to the practice.
Ms Nyong’o does not teach yoga formally, although she hopes to do so in the future. For now, she is focused on gaining entrepreneurial skills – a challenge to overcome.
She reads business books as well as attends entrepreneurial spaces like Jumpstart Thursdays – organised by Craft Afrika, Creative Garage – organised by Pawa 254, and frequently attends webinars online.