The Afrigarde range was created by Maria Uys as part of her Baccalaureus of Technologiae degree in Surface Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2014. As part of her research in Cultural Studies and traditional Ndebele Surface Design and body adornment, she decided to work with Felt as a medium, and create a range of Wearable Art that is inspired by African Jewellery design. The range aims to create a future aesthetic which incorporates the traditional design elements of African body adornment, while redefining the cultural barriers that certain traditional dress might create. The concept of the range aims to question cultural biases and our perception of what is “Normal”, versus what is considered “Foreign” or “Alien”.
Afrigarde trains women living in poverty in various Crafting, as well as Computer and Business skills, in order to supplement their income from doing casual jobs. This empowers these women to be able to sustain their household and grow business skills.