Bongolala Team
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Our shop

Bongolala is a small brick-and-mortar shop on the island of Lošinj in Croatia. We opened our doors in June 2018 with a beautiful range of products from Tanzania. Since then, we have been expanding our range as we discover new artists and designers from Croatia and more recently, India. This year we are proud to launch our own line, working with designers from our local community on Lošinj island.

Our Vision: Our aim is for artisans and designers from developing countries and Croatia to be able to showcase their talent and products on the international market and make a decent living.

Our Mission: Bongolala’s mission is to provide a maker-to-market platform for African, Asian and Croatian artisans and designers to sell their beautiful products to the rest of the world.

Petra

Petra

A graphic designer by trade, she was born in Croatia but grew up in Africa, spending 35 years living in Zambia and Tanzania. She ran her own graphic design company for 18 years in Dar es Salaam, working with the UN, NGOs and private companies, as well as setting up exhibitions with local artists. This inspired her love affair with African arts and crafts, and she became an avid collector of different art from local painters and sculpture artists. Six years ago, she became pregnant with her first child, and she and her husband decided to move to the beautiful island of Mali Lošinj in Croatia. To bring together the two threads of her life in Africa with her life in Europe, she created the Bongolala concept, which combines European style with the beauty, originality and style of African design. Read more about Petra in this online article.

Maura

Maura

Italian-born Maura moved to the Tanzanian spice island of Mafia at the age of 30, seeking an escape from the bustling rat race of her native city, Milan. She was offered a job at a remote lodge in Kinasi – which she reached via a hair-raising ride in a three-seater Cessna 182 – where she met her husband Moez. Several years later, after the couple adopted Moez’s sister’s three-month-old son, they decided to open a lodge of their own in order to share the beauty of Mafia island with guests. In 2010, Butiama Beach opened its doors for the first time, offering visitors a taste of authentic Tanzanian culture in relaxed, peaceful surroundings. Because not everyone can make it to Mafia island, she joined Petra in founding Bongolala, to give people around the world the chance to experience a little piece of Africa’s beautiful culture for themselves.