All Miami Culture Mavens should know about the gem that is the embodiment of Sankofa's Child, Nzingah Oniwosan. When I saw her jewelry line in person at The Royal Coils Natural Hair Show this past December, I had to have a pair of her assymetrical line boldly titled "I Am Africa".
Catching up with this full time artist was quite the challenge with her travel packed schedule but when I did I was ecstatic!
Miami Culture Maven: Hey Nzingah Happy New Year! So tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
Nzingah: I am originally from Delray Beach Florida with Haitian roots.
MCM: How did your jewelry line get started?
NZ: Well I always had an admiration for jewelry but I grew up Seventh Day Adventist and with my family being very othodox I wasn't allowed to wear any. I'd never even seen my mother wear any jewelry but my fascination inspired my first attempts at a jewelry line in 2003. Epic fail! Being self-employed can sometimes put a strain on your creativity so I didn't revisit the jewelry line attempt until 2008. I had a significant other who supported my endeavors & allowed for some breathing room & expansive creativity. As a result, Nzingah Designs was born.
MCM: Wow, how inspiring. I can definitely relate to being overwhelmed with the self-employed artist lifestyle. It's so nice when you have a real moment to breathe and the tenacity to revisit an idea that previously didn't work is admirable. What would you say is Nzingah Designs' best seller?
NZ: Definitely my one of a kind "Anointed Mask" rings and the "I Am Africa" series that you have a pair from. There is always one earring shaped like Africa while the other is a more abstract representation. No 2 pairs are ever the same and so the diversity of the pieces mirror the continent in itself. Time to see Africa outside of the norm.
MCM: That's awesome, I love the concept! Are there any new projects you're working on that we should know about?
NZ: Well I'm about to release a new series that stems from my Haitian heritage. It's called "Racine" which is creole for "Roots". The pieces explore symbolism found in Vodun and seek to embody the extension of the Haitian connection to Africa. That line will be available to the public starting February 7, 2015.
MCM: Mmmm I'm intrigued, where can we find your jewelry line?
NZ: Please visit my site www.NzingahDesigns.com
Loving my Nzingah Designs originals feeling oh so "I Am Africa"