A Kenyan bag designer launches an NFT inspired by a Maasai woman

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A Kenyan bag designer launches an NFT inspired by a Maasai woman


Non-fungible symbolic work by Nthenya Mwendwa. PICTURES | BOWL

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Summary

  • Nthenya Mwendwa, a Kenyan artist and designer of luxury leather bags has turned to space to sell her digital pieces.
  • She exhibited her collection, Mistari at Fibo, a Cardano NFT marketplace run by a global blockchain technology company, Emurgo.
  • NFTs are digital assets that cannot be replicated – they are encoded on the blockchain – representing things like artwork, music, video, game items and photographs.

As millennial millionaires spend their fortunes on digital art assets sold on blockchain-backed platforms, a small group of Kenyans are joining them to make their fortunes.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are becoming the most sought-after digital art assets.

Nthenya Mwendwa, a Kenyan artist and designer of luxury leather bags has turned to space to sell her digital pieces.

She exhibited her collection, Mistari at Fibo, a Cardano NFT marketplace run by a global blockchain technology company, Emurgo.

The artist joins a few Kenyans including marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, earning money from the global NFT craze.

“My passion for telling stories about my magnificent heritage and showing that Africa can make luxury goods that can compete globally led me to tap into the NFT space,” Nthenya said.

“I wanted to share my stories and my fashion creatively. And as an African designer who wants to share my African experience through my fashion, NFTs and soon the metaverse presents a unique and exciting way to allow others around the world to have the same experience and make it their own. this experience,” she said.

NFTs are digital assets that cannot be replicated – they are encoded on the blockchain – representing things like artwork, music, video, game items and photographs.

The Mistari collection is made up of five different NFT artworks called Binti, created to reflect the women involved in the value chain in the making of its bags, also an attractive addition to the brand and the NFTs on the Fibo platform.

Each NFT will be different and could have Fish Leather or Maasai Beads or both. It will also deploy one NFT at a time.

The public blockchain platform allows artists and musicians to trade their creative works using Cardano’s underlying digital currency, ADA.

Each NFT is sold for 250 ADA equivalent to Sh30,897, as reported on Thursday, but subject to dollar currency valuation.

This means the five would be sold at Sh154,485.

Nthenya is part of the fourth intro cohort of artists under Cardano NFTS. The work is exhibited alongside other NFT releases by artists based in Australia, the United States and India.

Open to crypto enthusiasts around the world, the collection represents her Kenyan roots and the strong female lineage that defines her artistic brand where she worked with women to create the bags.

She runs a brand of leather bag designers, The.Label.Saba’.

The bags are made from cowhide leather, Maasai beads, fish leather and full grain leather with an eye on the international market.

Prices range from $150 to $420 (Sh17,289 to Sh48,409).

She has worked with the Ushanga Association, owned by women from pastoral communities, in traditional bead making. She also works with women in the fish leather factory.

The digital work has been in creation since December with the help of a graphic designer.

“I worked alongside a talented graphic designer to bring my vision for this collection to life. It took a while to get here, but I’m glad we achieved the desired effect for the artwork. art, which I think really conveys the brand message through the expression of my art,” she said.

She is now looking to pursue the NFT space to support the growth of her brand.

“As the brand grows its presence in the real world, we want the same growth to be reflected in the NFT space and the metaverse,” she added.

In April 2021, Kipchoge dipped his toes into the world of NFT, packing two highlight videos from his September 2018 World Record in Berlin and the May 2019 Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, where he became the first to run the marathon in less than two hours.

Kipchoge, widely regarded as the greatest marathoner of all time, sold the two NFTs for 4.3 million shillings at the auction organized by online platform Momentible.

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