Our Story - 2019: The Year of Return

The Ghanian government coined 2019 as the “Year of Return”, a commemoration of 400 years since enslaved Africans were first brought to the Americas. The initiative encouraged investment in Ghana and the continent and fostering relationships with diasporans across the world.  

That same year, I had my own return to the continent and called Accra my new home. By the time December came around, I welcomed my sisters to spend the holidays in Ghana. With each of us having roots between East and West Africa, we truly felt it was a celebration and our very own “return” home. Once everyone landed, we explored music festivals like Afro Nation and Afrochella, pop-up events, economic forums, endless parties, fabulous brunches, and more, but one of our favorite activities was ofcourse - shopping! We saw dozens of artisans who crafted unique, hand-made jewelry, body products, baskets, clothes, showcasing incredible labors of love and creativity. Needless to say, we were ready to shop and support our Ghanian brothers and sisters. For those few weeks in December, the artisans had access to thousands of diasporans in Ghana for the holidays. At the same time we wondered, “but what happens after December is over?”. After everyone goes back to the U.S., U.K. or wherever they were visiting from, how would the artisans access this market and how would diasporans access the artisans? Where were the platforms that have built a sustainable market benefitting both the artisans and consumers? 

Connected by our heritage, love of travel, and excitement for growing and supporting communities in Africa, we saw an opportunity to do just that. Paired with a love of fashion, design, and unique handmade items, Belemaa was born with a mission to increase access of African artworks to African diasporans, spreading the power of community through one of a kind luxury products from the continent. Belemaa’’s core belief and vision is that realizing the richness of different cultures and regions will connect African diasporans back to the continent. 

Live Boldy,