A Namibian brand has both locals and foreigners thirsty for its products.
Twins Fredrika and Rosalia Amupolo, better known as Foxy and Roxy, are showing us there is more to the maguni fruit, also known as Kavango lemon, monkey orange or omauni. The fruit is indigenous to the Kavango regions, and tends to appear only after good rains.
While we usually just dump the shell after eating the delicious brownish sweet-sour pit fruit, the sisters craft fashionable bags from the hard round shells.
“The bags were inspired by the richness and diversity of Namibia in terms of natural resources. We wanted to make use of a natural resource to curate something beautiful, while in a way also preserving the resource at hand,” Foxy told VIBEZ!
The twins launched NamGyalApparel in 2018, and have since been taking Namibian fashion to greater heights with their bags and wire jewellery.
They fashion the maguni shells in a variety of styles, portraying various Namibian cultures and Namibian people in one way or another.
“As we know, the inside is eaten and the outside is usually thrown out. The outer shell was wasted, and we found a need to preserve that,” Roxy added.
When in season, they buy the fruit in bulk, and when asked what they do with the actual fruit, Foxy and Roxy said they eat it, share it with friends, and freeze it if it’s a lot.
These bags only take a few hours a day to make, depending on what their customers like. Additionally, they coat the shells with a liquid that hardens it due to its fragility, but also advice that the bag be handled with care.
The eye-catching pieces have been featured on various fashion runways, complementing fashion pieces such as that of the Helao Fashion brand.
NamGyalApparel also makes African and Namibian map-shaped earrings from wire.
The twins explained the inspiration behind this initiative, saying: “We couldn’t find the earrings that we wanted, so we thought, why not make them”.
NamGyalApparel’s unique products are accessible from some shops such as the prestigious Gondwana Collection’s curio shop and the ‘Made in Namibia’ shop.
In terms of their future aspirations, they hope to expand and open a curio/souvenir shop and supply more such shops around the country and other parts of the world.
The two have busy lifestyles. Roxy works in sales and marketing, whereas Foxy studies nutrition at the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Roxy occasionally volunteers at orphanages such as the Orlindi Place of Safety, and Foxy participates in social running at the Windhoek City Runners Club. They both like aerial yoga, reading, socialising and travelling.