X|Women: A League of Badass Leathersmiths

by | April 4, 2023

April 12, 2023 4:00 pm

As we gear up for another exciting edition of X|Women, we can’t help but feel a sense of pride in the impressive women working in the African leather industry. From pioneers to disruptors, this gathering will celebrate all that our Badass Leahersmiths have achieved in the world of leather, and present an opportunity to learn and grow from their experiences.

We are excited to bring together young African creatives, professionals, and scholars to interact and gain first-hand knowledge from women who’ve been there, done that, and are happy to show the way.

About the Event

The leather industry has always been one of the most fascinating in the world. The industry has a vast value chain with a graphic progression from grit to science to design and luxury.  As a matter of fact, Africa, in particular, has a rich supply of raw hides and skins as a by-product of its agricultural industry with a range of opportunities found along each value-adding process including rawhide sourcing and collecting, tanning, manufacturing of leather goods, as well as retailing. 

However, women are underrepresented in the industry, facing cultural, social, and financial barriers. As a result, the industry’s potential is limited and deprived of diversity and talent. From innovations in material, design, and manufacturing techniques, there is great potential for young female creatives, but getting started in the world of leather can be challenging, especially if you do not have the learning opportunities or experience to break into the industry. 

This event will provide a platform for young creatives to connect with industry leaders and leverage their experiences to launch into key areas of the value chain. If you’re a female creative who is passionate about the arts and is looking for opportunities to explore the leather industry, then you won’t want to miss out on this edition of X|Women. During the event, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other creatives, professionals, and scholars. You’ll get to interact with badass women across various sub-sectors of the industry who are internationally renowned for their innovative work, ideas and designs.

About Our Badass Leathersmiths

Dr. Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri, Co-Founder, Vanhu Wamwe

Dr. Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri is a Zimbabwean-born UK/Canada-based accessory designer who began with a journalism career and returned to school to study “Fashion Accessory Design,” specialising in leather luxury goods. She then proceeded to complete a PhD in Design at Harvard to investigate and develop a framework around “Care in Design,” which is supported by the theory of “Putting People First.” 

Through Vanhu Vamwe, Pam is constantly seeking new ways to design products that are conceptual investment pieces and can be passed on from generation to generation while communicating artisanal aesthetics, the culture, the storytelling, and generational legacies that come through art. 

Shekinah Sofola, Founder, Tender Leather Care

Shekinah Sofola is the founder of Tender Leather Care (TLC), a full-scale luxury leather restoration company based in Lagos Nigeria. She has over 10 years of experience working in the financial, recruiting, and aviation industries and has developed expertise in management, operations, and business development. She holds a first degree in International Relations from Loughborough University, United Kingdom.

Prior to her move to entrepreneurship, Shekinah was a Risk Operations Senior Analyst at the Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs. She also achieved an Executive Masters Degree in Management from Durham University, United Kingdom, whilst concurrently working in this position. Aside from her day-to-day role as an Advanced Specialist, she was also heavily involved with the firm’s recruiting initiatives and diversity network. She later moved to Nigeria and joined a recruiting company, Productive People, as Chief Strategy and Operations Officer. 

Driven by a passion to expand technical and artisanal expertise in the luxury leather consumer industry in Nigeria, TLC was later birthed with the aim to be an easily accessible and trusted aftercare service for consumers.

Christina Akerele, Founder & Creative Director, Kkerelé

kkerelé is a Lagos-based design studio founded in 2018, dedicated to exploring how mindful craft can inform mindful living. Their range of footwear departs from gendered notions in design, embracing simplicity and boldness. The team prioritizes the process of creation and derives pleasure from product use. They see themselves as stewards and students of history, referencing past art movements and ideas. Additionally, they believe in the power of collaboration and seek to become a platform for diverse and meaningful creative activity.

The studio is committed to circularity, redistributing everything it can, and working with a local network of practitioners. They align with the ‘slow fashion’ movement and defend the planet against extractive practices. Despite being aware that these practices are significant in size, kkerelé remains hopeful that alternative visions can sustain the imagination of and movement towards change.

Who Should Attend?

Whether you’re looking to partner with creatives in leather or gain first-hand knowledge about the industry, this event is perfect for you if you are:

  • A female creative keen on developing your craft, honing your skills, or finding a niche along the leather value chain.
  • A woman interested in starting a business in leatherworks and looking for a springboard.
  • A female entrepreneur who wants to connect with trailblazers, discuss growth strategies, and learn about the latest trends and innovations.
  • An enthusiast or academic interested in the leather industry and looking to gain knowledge, connect with like-minded individuals, and engage in meaningful conversations. 

What to Expect

  • Valuable discussions and insider perspectives that will help launch/propel your business or career.
  • Good vibes and camaraderie.

How to Join 

Register here to save yourself a FREE spot! 

Event Details

Date: 12th April 2023

Time: 4:00 pm WAT

Where: Live on Zoom

We can’t wait to welcome you!


*This event will be recorded and by joining the event you consent to be recorded and to transfer all rights to your image and/or likeness and audio recordings to The Assembly and its partners. Recordings will be used by The Assembly and its partners for promotional purposes.

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