By Mark Kawalya
Internationally, as more people invest hard cash into digital art assets that are traded on block chain-supported platforms, an ambitious group of Kenyans are joining the trade to amass wealth. Popularly known as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) the assets have quickly become the most sought-after digital art assets.
Nthenya Mwendwa, an established Kenyan artist and designer of luxury leather bags, has the digital space to sell her digital art.
The collection she showcased is called Mistari on Fibo, an NFT marketplace that is run by a global block chain tech company called Emurgo.
Nthenya joins the table with other Kenyans, including world record holder Eliud Kipchoge who is making money from the worldwide NFT craze.
“My passion to tell stories about my beautiful heritage and to show that Africa can make luxury products that can compete on a global scale has led me to tap into the NFT space,” said Nthenya. “I wanted to share my stories and fashion in creative ways. And as an African designer who wants to share my African experience through my fashion, NFTs and soon the metaverse, it provides a unique and exciting way for other people around the world to experience the same and take ownership of that experience,” she said.
The unique thing about NFTs is that the digital assets cannot be replicated and are encrypted on the block chain. They represent items such as photos, art, music, videos, and game assets.
Mwendwa’s Mistari collection comprises five different NFT artworks that are called Binti which she created to reflect the women in the value chain of the making of its bags. The collection is an attractive addition to the brand and to the NFT collection on the Fibo platform.
Each of her NFTs is different and can feature fish leather, Maasai beads, or a combination of both. She also plans to roll out one NFT at a time.
The block chain platform, which is open to the public, allows artists and musicians to transact using their creative works using Cardano’s underlying digital currency, ADA.
Each NFT is traded for 250ADA, which is the equivalent of about $265, and is subject to dollar currency appreciation. This means that the five NFTs will be sold for a total of $1,325.
Nthenya is part of the fourth cohort of artists, and her artwork is showcased alongside other NFT versions by artists from Australia, India and the US.