Discovering Ghana’s best kept beauty secret with Skincare CEO, Tutuwa Ahwoi, is an experience not to be missed. Join Tutuwa as she shares her passion for natural, organic skincare through her brand Nokware, which means ‘truth’ in Twi. Nokware is a beauty brand committed to providing solutions with a focus on ethically sourced ingredients from small farms across Africa. You can explore the range of their organic skincare products at WhatWeCherish and discover the truth behind their sustainable packaging and natural skincare solutions. With Tutuwa Ahwoi as your guide, uncover the secrets of Ghana’s beauty industry and find out what makes Nokware stand out among the rest.
Q: What makes Nokware stand out?
A: Nokware sticks to its values; from production to packaging, as well as business strategy. Our values are: the use of African ingredients, local sourcing, women’s empowerment, inclusive beauty, and sustainable packaging.
Q: Please tell us more about the inclusive beauty movement, as you’ve just mentioned. Why this is so important for Nokware to be a part of…
A: As an African skincare brand, we understand the psychological impact of colonisation & Western media on African women’s self-esteem. The beauty industry has worsened the situation by perpetuating a stereotype that favours lighter-skinned women. It also idolizes Western features as the epitome of “true” beauty. This preference has led many African women to use skin-lightening products on a daily basis. Our local media is filled with ads for such products, ignoring the negative impact on our bodies and communities.
By promoting the use of products that contain 100% natural ingredients, and by pushing for inclusivity and representation through our marketing campaigns, we are actively promoting a message of self-love. Nokware is changing the narrative around Beauty by providing a space where skin shades that are usually left out are included and represented beautifully.
Q: Please tell us more about Nokware as an organic brand? And the natural ingredients used?
A: My great-grandmother passed on the wisdom of how to make skincare products using traditional African herbs, oils, and plants. Inspired by this, Nokware fuses traditional and modern-day knowledge. It is part of our generational legacy and a privilege to be able to share that heritage with the world. Zero waste is about repurposing what would have otherwise ended up in a landfill, on our streets, or in the ocean. It is about aligning our lifestyle with our values in ways that make an impact. We want to raise awareness that single-use plastic is not the only way. Nature has provided us with materials that, when repurposed, can make beautiful, natural packaging, like repurposed raffia, jute sacks, bamboo, and calabashes.
“As an African skincare brand, we know first-hand the psychological trauma that colonisation and Western media have had on the self-esteem of African women.”
Q: Why is it so important for you to support local farms and farmers in Ghana and West Africa? How does Nokware support local supply chains?
We source our raw materials, such as calabashes and shea butter, from local women’s co-operatives. Our company practices a fair-pricing, zero-exploitation policy because economic inclusion is our ultimate goal. We strive to honour ubuntu — a Southern African philosophy that translates to ‘I am because we are’. By giving back to our communities. We are empowering those who have either been traditionally excluded from the workplace or have not been given equal opportunities to earn a meaningful livelihood.
Together, we can use skincare and commerce as a means to empower communities, transform lives, and do business in a more beautiful way: with purpose.
Q: What inspires you the most about Nokware’s vision and impact?
A: Everything about it inspires me! The process and execution of making our vision come to life, the values, even the many challenges we encounter every day. I try to find inspiration in all these different areas so that when one aspect is not going quite right, there are other aspects that can sustain me, fuel me, to keep going. Admittedly, it is not easy, especially when trying to get inspiration from challenges, but some of our best ideas were born through improvisation and just “making it work”.
Q: What is your favourite Nokware product?
A: Can I say all of them? Yes, all of them!
“We believe that, together, we can use skincare and commerce as a means to empower communities, transform lives, and do business in a more beautiful way: with purpose.”
Q: And last but not least… If someone was visiting Ghana, what are the top things they should do or see?
A: Ghana is an exceptionally beautiful country. A must-see is the beaches in the Western Region of Ghana. Definitely!