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A Guide to Shopping Black-Owned Businesses in South Africa

Nov 23, 2023 10:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho

By investing in Black-owned businesses, we can help close the wealth gap, prioritize diversity, and support local economies. Not only can your purchase help a small business prosper, but by consistently having Black-owned brands on your radar every time you shop, you aid in the development of community wealth, for both business owners and employees. “Local is Lekker” is a common South African phrase meaning the things close to home are often the best. Here's a list of some of the most inspiring and talented Black-owned businesses to support within our community. This list includes successful black women-owned businesses in South Africa that have adapted to the changing business landscape post-pandemic.



THEBE MAGUGU is a contemporary South African fashion brand primarily operating within women's ready-to-wear while having a firm footing in accessories and small multidisciplinary projects. The founder, Thebetsile "Thebe" Magugu is a South African fashion designer, born in Kimberley and based in Johannesburg. He rose to prominence as the 2019 LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize winner and a 2021 International Woolmark Prize finalist. Magugu has released eleven solo collections under his namesake label since 2017 and several capsules in collaboration with international brands such as Dior, Adidas, and AZ Factory.


Rich Mnisi

Rich Mnisi is a South African-based contemporary multi-disciplinary brand founded by Africa Fashion International Young Designer of the Year 2014, Rich Mnisi. Mnisi’s forward-thinking vision has grown the brand into a creative laboratory for experimenting with contemporary expressions of duality. From the design process to the brand’s incredible experiences, Rich Mnisi is a platform for breaking open the beauty of life’s tensions: old and new, light and dark, holy and wicked — all coexisting in uneasy harmony, grounding and defining each other. With a global view, the brand is young at heart and explores the treasures engraved within Africa and the world of modern culture and heritage to tell the unique stories of then, now, and soon. All this is packaged in extremist yet minimalist structures that take design and craftsmanship as the first and foremost motivation.


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Inkaturah is a luxury, contemporary African brand handcrafting statement piece. Established by Architect Phathi Katurah Hlongwane, the designs are routed in traditional African aesthetics, merged with Architectural geometries. Originally from Zimbabwe, she came to South Africa to study architecture at the University of Cape Town and her postgraduate degree at Wits in Johannesburg. Each piece narrates a different story which celebrates and expresses the character of the unique individuals who wear them.



Founded by designer Harmonie Mbunga, VALOYI is a luxury accessories brand that pays homage to traditional African craftsmanship. Their mission is to redefine the African narrative because our history matters. In the words of Harmonie, VALOYI is made for the global women and men who want to invest in a piece of The African story. Their mission at VALOYI is to do our part in keeping the century’s old heritage skills of the African Artisan alive, thereby creating a new path for skills to still be passed on for generations to come, and for us to enjoy them as new modern heirlooms through refined contemporary design.”

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Native Nosi Honey Emporium

Mokgadi Mabela is a third-generation farmer and owner of Polokwane-based black and female-owned beekeeping farm, Native Nosi. Nosi is the term from the Basotho people of South Africa meaning “Honey Bee”. They also produce their brand of local and organic honey, wax, and by-products. Launched in 2015, Native Nosi produces local and organic honey. Their honey is currently being sold on their e-commerce website. Her favorite Native Nosi product is a blend of honey harvested from beehives in avo orchards and sunflower fields in Limpopo, Gauging, and Mpumalanga. Her aspirations are to build the biggest female beekeeping company in South Africa. They also distribute to a number of small stores and have a physical store in Johannesburg. In an effort to bring about change, Mabela has not been afraid to bring innovative ideas to farming. An example of this is how she funded Native Nosi. Mabela raised funds for the farm through crowdfunding.


Lathitha Wines

Lathitha Wines, a Black economic empowerment initiative situated in the vineyards of Stellenbosch, is all about wine and upliftment, The rich soil on the fertile slopes of the Stellenbosch mountains favor Lathitha with outstanding vines to produce flavoursome wines. Sheila Hlanjwa, MD of Lathitha Wines strives not only to introduce the world to the excellent taste of South African wines but also to empower her underprivileged neighbors and show them the joys of wine and winemaking. Lathitha Wines is supported by Hoopenburg Wine Estate. Hoopenburg produces excellent, sought-after wines and is proud to be involved in the upliftment of South Africans with a passion for wine.


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Yo Coco

Sinenhlanhla says that each flavor is designed according to a chakra and each scoop is served with love. When Sinenhlanhla Ndlela dropped dairy from her diet she soon realised that meant giving up ice cream, her favourite dessert. Instead, she developed her own vegan ice cream which launched a business in 2016. Yo Coco is artisanal ice cream that uses as many locally sourced ingredients as possible to make up its delicious flavor combinations. Ndlela wanted to create something that would have a strong intention of love,l which is why she loosely based the flavors on the seven chakras and color therapy, and the packaging also had to be environmentally friendly.



Swaady Martin left a successful corporate job to follow her passion for the tea leaf. This journey led to the creation of her artisan African tea company Yswara which celebrates the ritual and ceremony of tea making and drinking. Yswara takes its name, its agro-ecological approach to ingredients, and its community development stance from the great Tywara deity as venerated by her mother’s West African matrilineal ancestors. Swaady describes the process of making a new tea as creating a garden in a cup and all of her ingredients are ethically sourced and grown on African soil. Yswara’s signature blends include African flavors like buchu, kola nut, and Penja pepper, enjoyed best in their gorgeous pastel pink tea room, L’Atelier Yswara in Maboneng, Johannesburg. 


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Sugarbird Gin

Nzeka Biyela is the co-founder of Sugarbird Gin, a Cape fynbos gin brand that launched in 2017. The lightly floral gin has notes of rooibos, honeybush, rose geranium and the Cape Mayflower but the newcomer to the market has a mission that goes beyond great cocktails. With every bottle sold, they contribute to programs that empower entrepreneurs, focusing on women and people of color. After winning the Luxury Lifestyle award for best premium gin in South Africa in 2021, the founders went on to launch a pure potstill 14-year-old Brandy - the award-winning and SA Brandy Foundation recognized Sugarbird XO Brandy. Later in 2021, they entered the Rum category with Sugarbird Cape Fynbos Rum. They pride themselves on imparting a taste of Africa into each of the Kindred Spirits brands, using locally grown, and where possible, indigenous ingredients.


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Beauty & Lifestyle

Hermosa Flor Cosmetics

Hermosa Flor comes from the Spanish meaning of beautiful flower. It is the name of a professional range of makeup products that are made with quality and are cruelty-free. Hermosa Flor is a cosmetic brand made for women by women, and the brand aims to empower and radiate the strength that exists in our core existence one glowing beat at a time. Founded by ex-navy-turned-entrepreneur, Mbali Sabapu, has bagged multiple awards and recently celebrated opening up its 4th store in Cape Town. Sabapu was also named one of The Plug’s 100 most influential people in urban culture and is a valued mentor and facilitator for Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs – one of the largest entrepreneurship networks in the World.


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Love Kinks

Founder Sinovuyo Mondliwa’s business named Love Kinks, started as an idea of a natural hair masterclass in 2016. Her business has now grown into more than that and it is not exactly what one thinks of when they hear about a natural hair care business. Love Kinks was specifically created with your healthy hair journey in mind. Black women's and men's hair needs have been historically underserved, and Love Kink's goal is to celebrate our innate beauty and love our hair in its natural state. “I want to create a holistic approach to natural hair care. The first and most important step is a mind shift. The second is moisture. If a person moisturizes their hair every day and then sleeps on a cotton pillowcase, the cotton drains out moisture from the hair.” said Mondliwa in this interview. “It was important to me to deal with that overnight moisture retention by supplying satin pillowcases first before introducing any other products. Love Kinks will include other products in the future.”

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Husband and wife team, Sipho and Zikhona Tefu started O’LIVE in 2011, literally on their kitchen counter. They started making natural organic handmade soap with a batch of just under 10 soaps so that they could move towards a natural lifestyle and above all aid to help relieve their daughter’s eczema. Shortly after the first batch, Zikhona started sourcing olive oil,  and pure essential oils from local farmers, as well as unrefined raw shea butter from Ghana. The brand currently produces private label bars of handmade soaps for other companies like skincare brands and olive estates. This couple is passionate about reducing the amount of chemicals and synthetics people unwittingly use on their skin, and our mission is to create organic and natural, handmade skincare goodness.


Sheba Feminine

Sheba is a proudly South African brand sustainably created by women, revolutionizing the way people who menstruate, experience periods, and rediscover pride in their bodies. This brand is creating a space to access reproductive and sexual health education to improve how we care for ourselves, and the environment. Sheba was started in 2017, as a reaction towards commercial menstrual care products containing tons of harsh chemicals and plastic. These products are not only harmful to people who menstruate but to the environment as well. Their organic cotton and biodegradable feminine hygiene product range ensures that they are living sustainably and responsibly.


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 Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.  

She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content. 

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