The Light Bulb Moment

The journey began in 2012 during World Environment Day, when Co-Founder Maria Mayanja and a couple of classmates from her Environmental Engineering class wanted to inspire the brilliant kids of a local primary school in Kigali to think beyond the obvious. The theme for that year was: "A Green Economy, Does it Include You?" They made the experience one to remember for the kids by showing them a series of fun videos and quizzes. To crown it all off, the kids finally got to get their "hands dirty" by making mosaics from bottle tops which they had collected.
This sparked the initiative to begin thinking about how waste could be turned into something of value through upcycling. After discovering that nothing was being done with the waste material from advertising banners in Kigali, Maria managed to collect some of them and began making bag prototypes. It was during a feedback session of showing the prototypes to friends, that she met Monica, her business partner and Co-Founder of Angaza.

Angaza's Head of Production, Mutabazi was the first tailor in Kigali to agree to work with this new material and different designs. The team also works with local women co-operatives on various orders.

Monica Umwari
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Maria Mayanja
Felicien Mutabazi
Head of Production

Beautiful Is Different

Angaza wants to show the world that a slight shift of perspective can bring about the most unexpected results. Angaza makes products for people who see things in a different light; the bold lovers of colour who want to make the world a better place and more importantly for those who feel that convention is boring.
Through this, they hope to expand into a social enterprise that offers green jobs to those who need them in Rwanda.


Our Materials

We transform Kigali's non-biodegradable waste, like vinyl advertising banners and jute rice bags, into one-of-a-kind accessories, such as purses, wallets and various types of bags.

Each of our products is lined with a fabric called Kitenge in East Africa or Ankarain West Africa. Kitenge is the sling that holds a baby on the mother's back while she carries on with other duties, it is the wrap around skirt that she wears around the house/to church/to visit neighbors, it is the beautiful dress she made for her daughter's wedding, it is the gift she gives her daughter when she brings her little one into the world. Kitenge tells the story of Angaza.

Because of the nature of the materials we use, no two of our products are exactly the same. They may come "seasoned" with the elements of Kigali's sun, wind and rain under which they have survived to make your unique bag. It is truly yours and yours alone.

The Next Generation

Angaza wants to revolutionize environmental education in Rwanda, by engaging students in fun and hands-on activities, so they may grow up knowing the importance of protecting the environment, and thereby engender a more conscious generation of Africans rooted in sustainable practices.
In addition to this, Angaza wants to collaborate with communities to come up with solutions to environmental problems that they may face.