The Akonmi Collection
What's in a Name?
We named this collection the Akonmi Collection because of how water, through the rain and the floods actually inspired the print we are using. Akonmi means "Water Hero" in Yoruba (a Nigerian Dialect). We feel that water, even though it caused devastation with these families, it actually ends up helping them because with each shoe that you purchase, SESOR gets a royalty that will go towards its efforts in helping some of these families. So as you can see, "water" ends up being the "hero."
My design was inspired by the heavy rains in Nigeria and how they displace a large number of families annually (at least 2 million). The design includes little droplets of rain falling down on aluminium roof tops as you can see in the zig zag pattern. The solid diagonals reflect a stream of water flowing through the neighborhoods. When it rains the people bring out colorful umbrellas to shield them from the rain, and if you tilt your head at the right angle you would be able to see the little yellow umbrellas. Although beautiful, they can hardly protect these families and their homes. I'm hoping that my design can help them.
Our Partner for The Cause
We decided to partner with a Nigerian NGO, Sesor. Sesor works to realize the rights of survivors of disasters and empowers them through providing sustainable relief and advocating for survivors of emergencies. Sesor has offices in Abuja, Lagos, Maiduguri and Makurdi and has provided relief materials to over 2,000 internally displaced persons in seven states in Nigeria since inception. In response to the flood disaster of 2012 that left 363 people killed, 5,851 injured, 3,891,314 affected, Sesor Foundation made donations at two relief camps set up in Benue State of food, sanitary items and footwear to several affected families and persons.
How do the donations work?
The donations from each Thando's purchase will go to support displaced families by providing non-food items such as protective footwear (eg rainboots for women and children to protect them through cuts in the skin etc), mosquito nets (from the stagnant water), mattresses and food items.