Our Story

We started Ngala Trading in 2016 to promote African-designed and manufactured luxury lighting and curated home décor products to the Trade.  Having owned and operated an interiors and home décor business in our adopted home of Johannesburg, South Africa, we were well-versed in the breadth and depth of contemporary African design available to luxury home owners.  However, much to our surprise, this was not the case in the US.  Searches for "African" decor being marketed and distributed across North America returned the bold, bright color blocking and tribal motifs of "rural Africa" on the one hand, and pith helmets and hunting rifles of "colonial Africa" on the other. 

Our first collection was created by selecting our favorite products from our own store catalogue, each of which had to exhibit the characteristics of being uniquely designed from sustainably sourced indigenous African materials. The products were and continue to be high quality and made entirely by hand somewhere in Africa - from Cameroon to Cape Town. Now representing several established brands as well as our own “house brand,” each of the products distributed by Ngala Trading remains organic, hand-made, and sustainably sourced from exotic materials such as feathers, ostrich eggs, leather, porcupine quills, suede, and ostrich shins. Each product has a story and is not only functional but a statement piece -- blending earthy, raw African materials with contemporary American styling.

As our collection grows (over 750 SKUs at last count!) we continue to select items from partners who weave together European and African design ethos in a sophisticated way that avoids overt references to both European high design and African tribal art.  The result is a contemporary “safari chic” that is at once relaxed and inviting; cool and alive; that is neither colonial nor primitive, but indigenous.  Of Africa.

And while we no longer are based in Africa, we return at least four times a year to continue to build our relationship with suppliers, source new product for the brand, and celebrate brand milestones with the artisans who have meticulously crafted their product since the beginning.

Our Business Practices

We and our suppliers take great pride in operating a sustainable model of sourcing & manufacturing, meaning:

•  We do not trade in endangered or threatened animal species, as classified by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).  The animal species used in our products thrive in protected reserves within and across Southern Africa.

•  We only purchase animal products from suppliers that are registered and regulated by the national government and/or nature conservation agencies, and whose products and production processes are regularly inspected by the relevant supervisory bodies.

•  The majority of our hides, skulls, and horns are the by-product of a conservation process called “culling,” whereby surplus animals in nature reserves are killed and removed for the purpose of maintaining an appropriate ecological balance of species. 

•  No animal has been hunted for its hide or horns – they are always the by-product of death in the wild or from a legislated and permit-driven cull that is managed by the South African government.

•  We do not and will not knowingly purchase or promote animal products that are derived from canned hunts, and we are strongly anti-poaching and condemn it without prejudice. 

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