Rwandan fashion entrepreneur and founder of Inzuki Designs, Teta Isibo, has been appointed by Wilderness Safaris to source locally-produced items in order to bring a vibrant Rwandan flair to the interior design of Bisate Lodge, due to open on 1 June 2017. Teta, who has just been named by Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs for 2017, will also be sourcing unique items for guests to purchase at Bisate.
Inzuki Designs is a Rwandan brand specialising in jewellery, home décor and accessories that is, according to Teta, part of a wider Rwandan cultural renaissance. “As a designer who focuses on fusing traditional Rwandan craftsmanship with contemporary design, the Bisate project is super exciting for me as I feel its design embodies this same principle”, she said.
“We are thrilled to have Teta as part of our design team for this pioneering project, which will not only offer guests something completely unique to the Rwandan landscape but a lodge that is steeped in local design, culture and traditional architecture”, said Grant Woodrow, Wilderness Safaris COO.
Teta is the liaison who will be sourcing locally-made products for Bisate’s interior décor and other operational items such as uniforms. “I am working closely with Caline Williams-Wynn and her team from Artichoke (the lead interior designers on this project), to bring their vision for the lodge to life and to add to it from a Rwandan design perspective. I’d love to achieve a strong local flavour, one that is envisioned by the whole team, and to make the lodge look and feel authentically Rwandan”, she added.
Bisate’s interior design is drawn from a variety of aspects of the Rwandan lifestyle, particularly the colourful textiles and use of texture. “The emerald green colour in the textiles and chandeliers is reminiscent of the verdant greens of the rainforests, as well as the vibrant markets that dot the villages throughout the country”, said Caline Williams-Wynn. “Following through with our commitment to the principle of recycling, the chandeliers will be of recycled glass, and the “ibyansi” milk jug motif reused across a number of elements”.
Many of the furnishings will be decorated using “imigongo,” an art form unique to Rwanda that uses cow dung and goes back hundreds of years; the dung is mixed with soils of different colours and then painted in geometric shapes. The use of black and white cow hides will also reflect the rural way of life in the villages, and volcanic stone will be used in the fireplaces to echo the volcanoes of the adjacent Volcanoes National Park.
As a Wilderness Safaris Premier camp, the overall design concept for Bisate Lodge is based on the principle that ‘Purpose’ is the new luxury. “Our aim is to create a world-class venture that will make a dramatic and far-reaching positive impact on more than ‘just’ the mountain gorilla. While minimising our environmental impact during the construction and running of Bisate, we have also begun an ambitious reforestation project, which will provide a haven for a wide array of life endemic to the Albertine Rift – from mammals to butterflies. We are well on track for our opening on 1 June and are looking forward to welcoming guests to this incredible part of Africa”, Woodrow concluded.
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