Motherland Artisan’s Hand

My designs for the NeKeia collection of artisan leather lighting for Ngala Trading are manufactured entirely by hand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Each piece requires 12 artisans to bring it to life, creating job opportunities, education, and an elevated way of living for the people who make the products.

The opportunity to share the immense talent of African artisans has never felt so good and the pairing of leather and solid brass or nickel never looked so good. The Nairobi pendant, NeKeia chandelier and Ndidi wall sconce feature three layers of hand cut leather that cascade effortlessly over the top rim of the piece.

All hard-wired, this lighting is UL-listed for dry locations. These lights aren’t suitable for outdoor use. Made to order, these works of art take 12-16 weeks. They are available in four new colorways — Baobab Tree, Saharan Sunset, Nile River, and Oxblood — and can be customized to any color specification.

As I consider this collection and look forward to future collaborations, I am inspired by the words of Chadwick Boseman, “The projects that I end up doing, that I want to be involved with in any way, have always been projects that will be impactful, for the most part, to my people — to black people.”

Keia McSwain

Principal Designer, Kimberly & Cameron Interiors