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The Unifying Components of Authentic African Luxury

Authentic African Luxury
Luxury gold bowl with tea leaves being stirred with a gold spoon.

We have looked at how there are many differences between African countries across the continent when it comes to luxury, but there are some similarities too.

Martin-Leke & Ellis[1] developed a framework which helps to understand the meaning of “Authentic African Luxury”: Luxe Ubuntu


Despite the fact that Africa is composed of different communities which have their own tradition, heritage and experiences; they all share the african philosophy of “Ubuntu”. In Zulu it is said “ Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu” meaning, a person is a person through others. one humanity is dependent upon one’s relationship with others [2].

Ubuntu in African Luxury means that there is a dynamic relationship with the community. In this perspective, luxury strives for the wellbeing and creation of wealth for the community and the land. Authentic African luxury creates wealth by enabling access to markets of high quality products developed and produced in Africa and sought by connoisseurs worldwide. These products showcase the talent of exceptional local artists , organisational and business capacity of cooperatives.

Listen to Swaady Martin discuss here exploration and expression of African Luxe Ubuntu through Tea

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.


What does the phrase Luxe Ubuntu mean to you?

Try and summarise your thoughts and share it in the comments box below.


  1. Martin-Leke S., Ellis E. (2014) Towards a Definition of Authentic African Luxury: Luxe Ubuntu. In: Atwal G., Bryson D. (eds) Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets. Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  2. Khoza, R. J., (20) Attuned Leadership: African Humanism as Compass, Penguin Global
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Africa to the World: Analysing the Global Appeal for African Luxury Fashion

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