Sisterpreneur: Nzingah Oniwosan of Nzingah-Sankofa’s Child Jewelry Line
Nzingah Oniwosah is a multi-disciplinary artist I came across when I was surfing the net looking for inspiration and once I saw her jewelry line, I knew I had to pick her brain and find out more about it.
I was greatly inspired by this massively talented musician who plays the paino and bass clarinet, poet, dancer, painter and the owner of Nzingah-Sankofa’s Child Jewelry Line. Born in Florida but with Haitian roots, Nzingah was named after the Angolan queen who defended her country from the Portuguese in the field through combat while still maintaining her feminine qualities.
For years, Nzingah always wanted to make jewelry, but she never found the time to sit down and immerse herself into it. But she says that time is different when you’re self employed. During the summer of 2008, Nzinga took the summer off and that’s when she started making jewelry. By August she was shocked to see how much she had made and was encouraged to vend at a festival which turned out to be a major success and almost sold everything.
The irony was that she grew up not wearing jewelry for religious beliefs and she mentions that up to date that her ears are not pierced.
Nzingah mentions that her designs are inspired by everything, “I guess it just the reality of being an artist. To be more specific she says she is inspired by indigenous designs found globally partially those found in Africa and Asia. The beads Nzingah has been able to acquire definitely dictate designs. “Every piece I create is a new work of art for me and it’s what drives me, but instead of gracing walls like I do with my visual art it graces the body of women and men my new blank canvas.”
She points out that the fact that she is a multi-disciplinary artist enables her to see the world through many lens and that undoubtedly influences her designs. Her creative process is very much the same across the line.
“I literally will dream about a design, sitting somewhere and have an ah moment and sketch the piece. Once I create the creative high for that piece is moved onto something new. Hence the line being completely one of a kind. For me to duplicate a piece hurts-the passion, the drive, the love is lost and begins to feel like a burden. This for my client base is enduring in the sense that you know that no one else will have the same exact piece as you.”
When asked how she juggles all her artistic passions, Nzingah says, “very carefully.” She believes that her passions interestingly feed one another. She may be to stifled in one area creatively and totally inspired in another. Nzingah has been self employed for the past 6 years and her ability to do multiple things has helped sustain her-financially, spiritually, and mentally. “I am doing the things I LOVE.”