Horesia Nyawade (left) and Tshiwela Ncube (right) the co-founders of Vuuqa. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – Vuuqa is the online marketplace for African brands to sell, promote and empower African brands.

All the brands that are on the platform are made or designed in Africa by Africans. 

Tshiwela Ncube and Horesia Nyawade are the co-founders of Vuuqa whose goal is to create a central place where consumers can digitally access African brands to create access to a broader market for these African brands.

Tshiwela Ncube and Horesia Nyawade are from South Africa and Kenya respectively. 

The co-founders met in 2017 at the Wits Business School and it was during their ethnically diverse networking sessions at the business school that they realized the demand of, and difficulty of access to African brands made by Africans. 

At the time they both were running their own brands, one a natural cosmetic brand and the other selling bras but then decided to create Vuuqa. 

"Being a creative sometimes get hectic when it comes to the admin around growing your brand. You are involved in design or innovation around your product m, then you have to figure out how to push it. We, therefore, started Vuuqa so they can focus on the creating, so we can focus on the selling.," said Ncube.

The Vuuqa co-founder spoke about the types of businesses that Vuuqa is looking to target. "Small businesses who would like to accelerate and compete globally, and therefore benefit through the pooling of resources by being on a marketplace designated to African brands," said Ncube.

Here are some of the benefits of using Vuuqa for African creators and shoppers:

1. African creators can showcase and market their talents and products. 

2. Instant webpage to facilitate e-commerce capabilities/exchanges with the customer. 

3. Access to a wider range of customers as they can cross-market their products. 

4. The customer gets to use their card details once while discovering and shop hopping from various #madeinafrica brands that may have previously not been known.

At Vuuqa, the items are priced based on the quality, labour (time) and industry rates. Vuuqa does this while trying to remain competitive and accessible to the every-day consumer. The online marketplace also advises their brands on their pricing to ensure they are not too high or too low, and that they are able to cover their costs and make a profit.

"We try to curate the website to feature brands that are unique/exclusive and well-designed with a powerful story behind them. We have an array of products ranging from natural beauty, food (jams and chilli) apparel and accessories. African apparel does not need to have African print, we, therefore, encourage designers to think outside of the box, however, we also love our African print.," said Ncube. 

Brands who would like to join the Vuuqa family should visit the Vuuqa website and fill in the requested details under the “Sell on Vuuqa tab”. A member of our team will reach out to you and set up a meeting to check the quality and viability of your products. 

There is a once-off membership fee to join the platform and a monthly fee that gets you a unique brand website on the Vuuqa platform.

To sell on Vuuqa, your brand must be at least one or all of the following:

1. Made in Africa
2. Made by Africans
3. Designed by Africans
4. Designed in Africa

Vuuqa has also signed a lot of brands through word-of-mouth from customers, networks and our very own family members and have introduced an incentive skim where one can earn R100 for each successful referral. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE