In West African pidgin English, Mama Wata literally means ‘Mama Water’ – or ‘Mother Ocean’, if you prefer:
From Madagascar to Morocco, Liberia to Mozambique, Mami Wata is the African water spirit who appears in the shape of a mermaid. It is said that those who she takes for her lovers, return with a new spirit and become more successful and good looking.
The name Mami Wata was adopted by three friends – Nick Dutton, Andy Davis and Peet Pienaar – for their Cape Town-based surf brand, which aims to focus on celebrating Africa’s relationship with water:
Surrounded by four different seas and oceans, Africa is a continent with some of the world’s finest surf. For the seekers who find and ride her waves we design and produce premium surf apparel, surfboards and accessories, inspired by the continent.
Producing premium surf clothing and accessories, explains Good Things Guy, Mami Wata is still in its start-up phase, but has “fast established a local and global presence, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response, both in its home country and abroad”:
Since launch a few short months ago, the Mami Wata range is already stocked in a number of prestigious global and local retail and design outlets. It is one of a select few South African brands to be included as part of Le BVH Marais exhibition in Paris (Le BHV is an iconic Parisian department store, known for its stylish curation of products). The brand has also been selected to be sold on premium e-commerce business platform from New York, Oxosi, as well as in the General Admission store in Los Angeles.
Closer to home, the Mami Wata range has been selected to be shown and sold in the newly opened Southern GUILD Concept store at the V&A Waterfront, which showcases the best in Africa’s design, as well as the Old Biscuit Mill and Lifestyle Surf Shop.
But the winning product from Mami Wata so far is a five-minute short film shot over seven days in Durban, South Africa and Ponto DoOuri, Mozambique.
Titled Woza, it tells the story of an African surfer who has been taken as a lover by the water spirit, Mami Wata, and was awarded a “bronze at the Cannes Festival of Creativity and “Best Cinematography” at the Patagonia Film Festival”.
It has also been selected to run at the Berlin Surf Film festival and Ombak Bali Surf Film Festival.
Check it out:
So fresh. So clean. So African.
Mami Wata’s next short is set to be available soon, and if Woza is anything to go buy, it should be worth the watch.
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