Our story

Kantiga, a thinking and brand born in Cape Town, South Africa is kept nourished by a love rooted in African fiction and stories. Our ways of being, reimagined by the Malawian tale of the cracked clay pot that some deemed useless but was loved and adored by Anganga, it’s wise owner.

 

With the water, my Kantiga drip drops, it feeds all my family and neighbours. Because of its crack, it’s more than perfect“.

– Anganga

Our Story

I once spotted a beautiful tote bag with authors names all over it but I could not get over how there were no authors on it whose stories reflected mine. I could not fault the producer they were creating from their point of view, it was their product so what was stopping me from celebrating the authors I love and that I am certain many other people would also love to celebrate?

 

My niece, a beautiful, brown, growing girl and her consumption of all things princess Elsa made me want to surround her life with protagonists that looked like her.

 

I read a lot of books when I was young and around her age, from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Famous Five to Three Little Women. I was surrounded by books that I loved yet I remember being 11 and hating my skin as everything around me, but me, was celebrated, the stories I was told rarely had characters that looked like me. The African books we had were fables and folklore with animals as the main protagonists. In the stories I found, the protagonists were never awkward, adventure seeking, stloto having, brown girls like me.

 

I decided that Kantiga would be my attempt at celebrating the authors my little niece will one day read.  This is a celebration of the authors writing the children’s stories she needs to read now, books written by my peers such as I love me!, Refilwe, Tullula and Mpumi’s magic beads.

 

Mabel Mnensa

Founder of Kantiga

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