Swahili Chic – Keeping Swahili Woodworking Alive

swahili chic
  • Photo by Swahili Chic

Swahili Chic is a Swahili Culture-Influenced bespoke furniture and home decor business owned by Roky Gambo from Lamu, Kenya. Gambo also doubles up as the creative director and works with coastal artisans using traditional, time-honored, Swahili carving techniques and styles.

Furthermore, he sources for genuine antiques like chests, doors and dhow pieces from Lamu, Mombasa and Zanzibar. Gambo’s aim is to bring these relics of the past into people’s homes. Clients purchasing Swahili Chic’s antiques, made-to-order furniture and home decor are essentially supporting local coastal artisans while helping to keep the tradition of Swahili woodworking  alive.

Gambo has previously confessed to deriving joy and inspiration from the enchanting Swahili Coast of Eastern Africa and traditions of Swahili Craftsmanship which he carries on in his creations. His pieces are basically hardwood using mahogany and mvule (African teak/Iroko) together with sourced brass fixtures from Old Town, Mombasa.

Among Gambo’s creations include the Swahili Chic’s Maridadi pieces such as a massive mahogany 4 poster bed with a hand-carved headboard and a full length mirror with Lamu style carvings on its muted teal frame.

Swahili Chic’s mahogany 4 poster bed with a hand-carved headboard. Photo Courtesy of the business.

A sofa set and table by Swahili Chic. Photo courtesy of the business.

A custom made bar cabinet with Swahili hand carved doors. Photo courtesy of Swahili Chic.

Swahili Culture

The Swahili people of Africa inhabit the Swahili Coast of Tanzania, Kenya, Zanzibar and Comoros. They speak Swahili as their native language belonging to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo family. Swahili culture is characterized by their unique arts and crafts. This entails Swahili art, furniture and architecture.

Moreover, Swahili designs are strictly geometric. The Swahili do not design images of living beings in adhering to their muslim beliefs. Swahili designs can also be found on the kanga, a popular clothing item for East African women.

Additional Sources: stirworld.com & wikipedia

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Lamu, Kenya

+254 722 834257


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