Nokware [“Knock-Wah-Ri”] means Truth in Twi, a Ghanaian language in Africa. When two African girls met in Paris while doing their master’s degrees, the wisdom from a great-grandmother came alive. Their dream, which took shape four years ago, had grown from the African soil into a trusted and favoured brand, built on female empowerment and beauty without harm.
Tutuwa Ahwoi and her friend, Thato, realised that women needed bespoke and eco-friendly beauty products and where better to find traditional herbs and oils, but on the African continent? It was the ideal time to start their enterprise as the beauty market had, until then, been overrun with many products not entirely ethically and humanely produced and eco-conscious consumers are increasingly demanding natural products.
Materials are sourced from sustainable local farms in West Africa and even the packaging is unique and eco-friendly. The team of women behind Nokware, believes in the organic simplicity of their products. These ecologically aware ladies do it all – from planning to finance, manufacturing and processing.
The products, which are now used on a large scale, are produced without any synthetics, embracing Nokware’s motto of truth, simplicity, self-love and unique diversity. Even the packaging is sustainable and organic. Using calabash covers derived from the gourd plant, it is woven into reusable and recyclable packaging. Natural jute fibres from the jute plant are woven into the design.
Raffia twines are made from a palm tree native to tropical Africa and the brown paper is made from unbleached wood pulp and is degradable. The shea butter product containers are made from bamboo and customers are encouraged to return the packaging for immediate cash back or a discount on their next order.
As a modern, African skincare brand, Nokware also aims to promote the natural herbs, oils and plants across the African continent and share a great-grandmother’s unique heritage with the rest of the world.
In order to empower African women, raw material is obtained from female co-ops in line with the Ubuntu belief, a philosophy about inclusion and ploughing back benefits into communities, at its heart. Nokware practices fair-pricing and a zero-exploitation policy to provide equal opportunities towards earning a sustainable and meaningful livelihood.
Community commerce drives the team at Nokware and they believe beauty should have a purpose. The many responsibilities resting on their shoulders are taken seriously to work towards bridging the deep gender parity gap in Africa. They wish to honour women and provide them with opportunities to earn an education and a sustainable income.
Tutuwa’s great-grandmother raised eight successful children without any formal education, but her drive, compassion and hard work is now seeing many dividends for other women, long after she is gone, keeping the spirit of Africa alive.
Our women are evidence that when women support each other, incredible things happen- Tutuwa Ahwoi, founder of Nokware.