Swaady Martin


How does one leave a successful 10-year career at General Electric and follow a passion for African culture and heritage?  Is it possible to capture African luxury in a contemporary way and build a truly African luxury brand on the global stage?  Swaady started an award-winning brand of African products with African artisans. It has been nominated as the Best Locally-Sourced Luxury Brand in 2014 by The New Economy magazine.



Swaady Martin seems to have found the answer with YSWARA. Founded in December 2012, YSWARA is a luxury brand featuring exceptional products made with Africa’s natural resources by African artisans. Its mission is to support the export of value-added African products, foster a dialogue between tradition and modernity, and act as an ambassador for the preservation of Africa’s artistry and expression.

YSWARA’s contribution to promoting an authentic and unique luxury from Africa has been rewarded with a nomination in the Innovation category as one of the new luxury talents by the French Institute of Luxury (2013) – a first for an African brand. YSWARA also won the Grand Prix of Excellence by the French National Institute of Marketing (2013) and was nominated as the “Best Locally-Sourced Luxury Brands” award by The New Economy magazine UK (2014).

“I’ve always had a feeling that I need to be part of the change of Africa. I think being part of the Tutu Fellowship is part of that change.”