Holiday gift guide, African style!

Fabric necklace by Etsy and Boubou by Akosua Vee

The holiday season has just started and gift-giving is an integral part of the Christmas and New Year spirit. The gesture is not only reserved for Westerners; Africans also exchange gifts including special food in some cases, to tighten the bond of friendship, partnership, and familial relations.

The stress involved in finding the ideal gift for a loved one cannot be underrated. We go the length to make it a little simpler for you to spoil your family and friends.

Below are ideal gift ideas you can consider buying for your loved ones during this festive season.

Jewelry/ Fashion Accessories

A lot of people prefer gifts that can last longer and always remind the receiver of the kind gesture of the giver. An ideal gift of that kind is jewelry and fashion accessories. Pieces of jewelry are always worn on special occasions and are well kept by both men and women.

A quality leather or silver watch, gold bracelet, necklace, earrings, brooches, depending on the amount of money you are ready to spend, will spend a long time in your loved one’s possession. You will get the Africanized versions of these pieces of jewelry and accessories from many shops in Africa and some designer shops in the U.S. and Europe.

There are necklaces, earrings, and bracelets made of colorful African beads and fabrics. Men equally appreciate jewelry like watches, necklaces, and rings which add to their style and status.  You can get customized jewelry from shops offering discount sales this season, therefore, seek a better deal.

Tech gadgets

What is better than getting the new iPhone from a loved one or a new blue-tooth enabled speaker to compliment this fun season? Tech-savvy people deserve tech gadgets as gifts since that is what they live for. Be sure you don’t buy what the person already has to avoid an unappreciative gesture.

Men are mostly interested in cool tech gadgets while a few women love them. For the men, you can get a smartphone you can afford and buy a phone case or cover branded with an African design.


Clothes are popular gift items that can be purchased in the final days of the holiday season. The plethora of African designers have stocked shops with clothes made from African print fabrics (Ankara) and traditionally woven fabrics.

For men, you have options including the Grand boubou, Dashiki, Senegalese kaftan, the kanzu (worn by Swahili-speaking men), Ethiopian Suit, Khamis (worn in Somalia), Ghana’s Kente shirts, and Fugu (smock) among many other traditional African clothes.

For women, consider the Ankara skirts and dresses, traditional clothes like the Kente, embroidered Dashikis, and many others. Clothes can be found online as well and there are varieties to choose from.

Vacation package

Everyone deserves a vacation at some point in their life and you can be the one to fulfill a loved one’s dream this holiday season — if you can afford it.

An all-paid vacation to Seychelles, Zanzibar, Madagascar, Botswana, and all the beautiful places away from home can be a rejuvenating experience ahead of the new year. Think about it, you might need one for yourself to start the year on a fresh note.

Candlelight Dinner

It is equally memorable when you host friends and family for a candlelight dinner at a serene restaurant. It will cost much less than the vacation package but can have almost the same value if the right restaurant is chosen. There are many world-class restaurants and plush venues in every African country where this gift can be served.

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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