Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

Free Shipping | 30-Day Money Back


Unique Style Ready-to-Hand

Crate and Barrel. Ikea. Brylane Home. Wayfair. These familiar names bring to mind just a few of the large outlets for home decor. They offer a dizzying range of products, many of superior quality, to outfit your home. We watch This Old House, Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, Love It or List It, Rehab Addict, and other shows dedicated to home remodeling and home decorating. But none of them offer what really makes a home your home: those truly unique items that express your unique style and personality!

Furniture showrooms and displays serve well for generating ideas, showing how styles, fabrics, patterns, and colors can be mixed such that they complement rather than clash. The cost of well made home furnishings prohibits seasonal swapping. Unless you have money to burn, you likely don’t change out the living room furniture from walnut to wicker when the cold weather turns to summer heat. Therefore, the most popular choices in furniture tend to center upon neutral color and patterns and styles.

Budget and storage limitations make for practical choices when it comes to customizing your home to reflect your personality and taste: drapes, knicknacks, wall art, and rugs. Savvy homeowners haunt thrift stores, garage and moving sales, flea markets, and antique stores to add unusual pieces that fit in with their style. Those may include heirloom pieces of furniture, vintage glassware, and original paintings, and other items. The lucky may even find clean floor cloths and hand-woven rugs still in good shape. The socially and environmentally conscious among us may gravitate toward “reuse, recycle, and repurpose” options and support cottage industry craftsmen rather than international conglomerates.

While kitschy or trendy items may wear thin after a short while, truly stylish objects complement your home regardless of fashion and even add value. What’s even better is finding durable items made from natural materials crafted by a company with a mission of social responsibility. This is offered by Zawadee and hits all right notes for the frugal homeowner in search of one-of-a-kind pieces that express his or her distinct personality: environmental sustainability through recycled materials, ease of care, and affordability.

Because artisans craft each rug in the from 100 percent recycled material, each is unique. Craftsmen combine available colors and materials into woven artwork distinctive enough to hang on the wall in lieu of tapestries or paintings. They’re sized to fit under coffee tables, line a hallway, and frame a special living area whether it’s your in-home office desk and chair or a cozy conversational seating group. They add interest to a neutral environment of off-white, beige, or gray walls while protecting bare feet from cold floors and fragile finishes from scuffs and scrapes. Imagine adding depth and sophistication to a bedroom with. The presence of wall-to-wall carpet does not exclude additional floor coverings that frame space and add color.

In addition to the durability of the materials, the rugs from Zawadee’s  are washable. Being recycled, they won’t shrink either. Choose your preferred color and price to find affordable, handcrafted art that will complement your home decor with the ease and versatility of seasonal updates to take your house from winter to summer.

Read more

Ceramics with an African Flair - The Ardmore Collection

From Capodimonte to Hummel to Lladro to Wedgwood, the world does not suffer from a lack of fine pottery. These venerable manufacturers produce modern collectibles in signature styles. Is there room for yet another manufacturer, another source, a new style? Zawadee believes that the verve and whimsy of it ranks with the settled elegance and the studied cuteness of other famous manufacturers. The magic of pottery lies in its ability to remain useful as well as decorative and to explore a variety of shapes and express myriad motifs. Ceramics combines decorative qualities with utility. Located in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa, the artisans who create masterpieces that draw inspiration from the dramatic environment that includes beaches, mountains, and savannah populated by big game. The region’s northeast is home to rhinoceroses, lions, and giraffes. Colorful traditions of native peoples, such as the Zulu tribes, also add inspiration!

 The Origin Of South African Art

Art in South Africa goes back 4,000 years to dramatic cave paintings created by the hunter-gatherer societies that populated the region until displaced by colonialists in the 1800s. Artistic appreciation took a distinctly European turn in the early colonial era as artists painted and sculpted their visions of the newly discovered territories replete with exotic flora, fauna, and people. That European influence continued into the 20th century with Cubism, Impressionism, and Expressionism that ranged from cool, serene, and distant to bold, vivid, and personal. Art in the latter half of the 20th century adopted a more intimate focus, and Western society largely ignored native artists. Even the European-born and classically trained artists who brought their Western ideals to South Africa could not escape the impact of African forms on their creations. The melding of European craftsmanship with African verve and motifs created a distinctly exotic, exuberant, graceful, and even whimsical style that finds wide acceptance and appreciation today.

Natural Forms

South African art echoes the plants and animals indigenous to the continent’s sub-Saharan expanses; it pays homage to nature and the earth from which the raw materials of pottery come. Much of it favors visual abstraction, which applies well to the design practical objects, such at pitchers and platters and candlesticks. As dramatic and bold as the continent itself, it captures attention with fluid forms, bold colors, and rhythmic patterns....

Shop Ardmore


The patterns found in nature and in everyday life make their home in the ceramic bowls, jugs, vases, platters, and other objects produced by the Ardmore Studio. Glazes draw the eye with lush color and expressive detail while pottery molded into realistic or fanciful shapes add fluidity and energy to the finished hard forms. Until one sees the incorporation of these shapes and patterns, one cannot understand how natural forms apply to our lives.  

Subscribe to Zawadee Newsletter

Read more

Christmas in Africa – How its Observed, Customs & Traditions

Can You Believe Christmas Is Almost Here Again?

This time of the year, people around the world are preparing for the holiday, and depending where you live, you may be preparing for a very different celebration than we are used to here in Canada. Christmas, Santa Claus, and holiday celebrations take on many different forms. This is no different in Africa...

How Is Christmas Observed In Africa?

Christmas is celebrated across Africa by the large Christian community (more than 350 million people) that is dispersed throughout the continent. How it is celebrated depends on the country, but there are many similarities to the Christmas we are accustomed to.

Gifts are exchanged, family dinners occur (goat rather than turkey), and it is celebrated on December 25th in most regions, while some celebrate on January 7th. While decorations are also common, you will be hard pressed to find any snow!

How To Say Merry Christmas In Africa

Here is how to say Merry Christmas in a number of regions in Africa:

  • In Akan (Ghana) Afishapa
  • In Zimbabwe Merry Kisimusi
  • In Afrikaans (South Africa) Geseënde Kersfees
  • In Zulu (South Africa) Sinifisela Ukhisimusi Omuhle
  • In Swazi (Swaziland) Sinifisela Khisimusi Lomuhle
  • In Sotho (Lesthoto) Matswalo a Morena a Mabotse
  • In Swahili (Tanzania, Kenya) Kuwa na Krismasi njema
  • In Amharic (Ethiopia) Melkam Yelidet Beaal
  • In Egyptian (Egypt) Colo sana wintom tiebeen
  • In Yoruba (Nigeria) E ku odun, e hu iye' dun!

Annual Christmas Pageant In Congo

In Congo, people hold an annual Christmas pageant. Christmas Day begins with carolers walking through the village before Christmas worship that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Everyone who attends services offers up a gift. After the service, people enjoy Christmas dinner, which is held indoors or outdoors with friends and family.

Christmas In South Africa Is A Summer Holiday

Christmas falls in the summer season in South Africa, and most families spend the day at the beach and enjoying a barbecue with their family.

Even without the winter weather, carolers hit the streets on Christmas Eve, services are held Christmas morning, and homes are decorated with pine branches with Christmas fir in the corner, complete with gifts for the kids.

Dinner is often held outside during the day with a more traditional meal, including turkey, mince pies and even plum pudding.

Ghana Celebrates The Cocoa Harvest During Christmas

Christmas falls in line with the cocoa harvest in the region, and homes and churches are decorated to coincide with the first week of Advent. People return home from the farms and fields once harvest is complete to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

In Liberia – Homes Have Oil Palm For A Christmas Tree

Liberian families use oil palm tree for a Christmas tree, however, they are decorated with bells. Caroler’s awake residents on Christmas morning and practical presents are exchanged, such as cotton, soap, and sweets. Dinner is commonly served outdoors with beef, rice, and biscuits. The day is capped off with fireworks at night!

Ganna – Ethiopian Christmas

Known as Ganna, Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. The celebration occurs in ancient churches, with men sitting separately from women. People receive candles as they enter the church, and worshipers walk around the church three times, a ceremony that often lasts about three hours.

Injera, sourdough pancake bread, is a staple, as is okra soup, rice, beef and biscuits for Christmas dinner.

Free Shipping Until December 31st

Still looking for gift ideas? Just a quick reminder that we are extending free shipping* from now until December 31st. Bring a piece of Africa home this holiday season, and give a friend or family member a unique and memorable

Read more

A Taste of Africa: Gages - Eggplant, Tomato and Onions - Oh My!

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Gages is a deceptively simple vegetable dish that originates in Sierra Leone. We say "deceptively simple" because the taste is extraordinary.

We love sharing our family recipes with you but please remember you can search online and find lots of variations on this dish and other terrific African recipes. An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo Cookbook. My East Africa Journal is also a great source for recipes. AllRecipes and Food.com are also good resources. This easy to prepare recipe combines all sorts of lovely fall colours together with a few unexpected ingredients! Pairs well with all sorts of things - chicken, beef or seafood or enjoy it as a stand alone vegetarian meal.


  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 red chili pepper, chopped and remove seeds
  • 4 nice ripe tomatoes (we use any tomato we happen to have but plum tomatoes are our favourite)
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (we actually use a blend of canola and olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar (we use red cider vinegar but we have used red wine vinegar as well)
  • 1 large red onion (we rough chop the onion)


  1. Melt your butter in a large frying pan (we use our wok).
  2. Fry the eggplant slices until they are slightly browned (or more if you like a little char).
  3. Remove from the heat and set to cool to almost room temperature.
  4. Now combine everything in a big bowl, mixing the vinegar and oil together and pouring it over all other ingredients.
  5. Cover your bowl with saran wrap and place in fridge for several hours. We like to make this the night before and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Just before serving, sprinkle the coconut and peanuts over the top and toss.
This recipe is a snap to make and serves about six people as a side. If using it as a main dish, it serves about 4. A little tip? If you have any leftover, add them to sandwiches. Delicious! Enjoy! And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make. Vegetable Photo Source: Wikipedia (Creative Commons - Labeled for Reuse).
Read more

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place - Fashionably

Reticule. Purse. Handbag. The terms basically mean the same thing and each serves the same basic purpose: to hold stuff. However, these practical accessories also fulfill other purposes as accompaniments to fashion, status symbols, and organizational aids. Zawadee offers the of fine leather handbags that hits the multiple purposes today’s women expect from their practical accessories!

Handbag History

Before the Middle Ages, men and women carried bags and purses because clothing didn’t come with integrated pockets. In the 16th century, tailors introduced pockets to men’s clothing. Women attached pockets separately underneath their skirts, but access proved a bit inconvenient. Thus, purses evolved into a feminine accessory in which ladies carried small utensils, keys, money, and sewing tools.

Early purses basically took the form of a bag dangling from a strap or cord. Usually made of fabric or leather, handbag materials, shapes, and designs changed with the introduction of papier-mâché, iron and polished steel in the 19th century.

The 20th century brought new mobilization to the population, which necessitated the practical need to tote a variety of items between work and home and special events. Purses changed to meet those needs, from beaded clutches just large enough to carry a comb, keys, lipstick, and a little bit of money to portfolios that held notebooks, folders, books, and other business-oriented materials. The need to organize contents took high priority. The 20th century also applied the status symbol of branding with fashion houses from Chanel to Vera Wang, and others jumping on the bandwagon to take advantage of this niche market and commanding top prices for their fashionable accessories. 

A Bag to Match Your Need

Because handbags need to meet a variety of needs, they come in a variety of sizes, styles, and materials. Best combining durability and style, Zawadee offers bags made from Egyptian leather. Soft and tough, luxurious to the touch, sized and shaped to suit the need, these bags take you from the office to the shopping mall. The Ladysmith handbag features a classic shape with a roomy zippered pocket—zippered for security. The zipper keeps everything inside the bag and deters sneaky pickpockets from slipping their sticky fingers where they can reach your valuables.

Features a “flap-over” style which protects the bag’s contents from both sticky fingers and the elements. A handsome brass clasp secures the flap to keep contents in place. The messenger bag includes divided compartments, a large exterior pocket, and a zippered interior pocket for efficient organization of contents—no more digging in the bottom of your purse to find your keys or wallet. The wide leather strap slides over the shoulder for easy carrying.

When a purse just isn't large enough, this bag allows storage for your e-reader, a small laptop, folders, notebooks, and more. Like the messenger bag, but larger, it has a place for everything for efficient access and organization. This briefcase, designed for busy business travelers in particular, features a luggage suspension strap to secure the bag to other pieces of luggage and a wide, adjustable-length carrying strap for comfort.

Women’s clothing seldom includes functional pockets, so women, especially, continue to carry handbags. Zawadee has you covered with practical, fashionable options that enable you to carry what you need with style.

Read more

The Majestic African Black Panther

Black panthers are a symbol of courage, strength and personal leadership, and are revered by many throughout the world. Because of their rarity, unbridled strength and power, it’s no surprise that these majestic, solitary creatures have woven their way into African mythology!
What Exactly is a Black Panther?  
First off, it’s important to note that black panthers are not their own species. Those found in Africa are actually leopards (Panthera pardus), which have a genetic trait called melanism – meaning the animals have excess black pigment. The typical markings of a leopard are still there, so if the light hits a black panther just right, you can still see its spots.
Like all leopards, black panthers are solitary, nocturnal carnivores. Their hunting prowess is legendary. With their large skulls and powerful jaw muscles black panthers can take on animals much larger than themselves. Pound for pound, they are the strongest of the big cats. Here are some more remarkable facts about these amazing animals:
  • Black panthers are able to hunt and kill animals outweighing them by more than 600 kilograms (1,350 pounds), according to Big Cat Rescue
  • They can even climb trees while carrying a massive carcass to keep it safe from lions and hyenas
  • Like most big cats, they’re fast and can run at speeds approaching 58 km/hr (36mph)
  • They have over 500 voluntary muscles
  • They’re extremely powerful swimmers
  • They can leap 6 meters (20 ft.) horizontally and 3 meters (9.8 ft) vertically

Where Can You Find the Elusive Black Panther?  

Leopards are aloof and often come out only at night, so it’s difficult to know how many there are. What is known is that only a small percentage of African leopards are black panthers, which just adds to their allure. Black panthers are found in areas with dense vegetation, where light levels are lower. They aren’t that common in tropical parts of Africa, but have been found in Ethiopia, the forest of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and a single sighting was recorded in the equatorial forest of Cameroon. These impressive animals are even rare in captivity. In 2008, there were only 15 black leopards in captivity around the world.

Black Panthers in Mythology and as a Potent Symbol 

Black panthers have long held a certain mystique throughout the world. The ancient Romans admired the animals, and even had a few imported from Africa for public displays and games. Many cultures have been fascinated by the symbolism of black panthers. They’ve been thought to symbolize:

  • The feminine, the dark mother, the dark of the moon
  • Darkness, death and rebirth from it
  • The protector of the universe

Black panthers have played an important role in African mythology, as well. Early Egyptians would sacrifice panthers to various gods and Egyptian priests wore the skin of the panther. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Pepi the king must pass through the ceiling of heaven by wearing a black panther skin draped across his shoulders. This signified that he had given up his need for the earthly realm and was ready to go on to heaven.

The Legend Continues 

Even today black panthers continue to be a potent symbol of strength. You can find them represented in political parties, coats of arms, professional sports teams, military regiments’ uniforms, flags and more. It’s no surprise, that black panthers have secured their role in mythology and as an important symbol. After all, it’s rare that agility, power, grace and beauty are all rolled up into one wondrous animal.


Zawadee - Bring Africa Home has a large selection of products depicting African Wildlife. 2% of all sales of African Wildlife Decor go to the World Wildlife Fund to help them in their efforts to protect species at risk.

Read more
126 results