About Mami Wata
We started Mami Wata because of love and belief. Our love for surfing, design and Africa. Our belief in the Power of African surf.
“Mami Wata” is West African pidgin English literally meaning ‘Mama Water’… ‘Mother Ocean’ if you prefer. From Madagascar to Morocco, Liberia to Mozambique, Mami Wata is the African water spirit who appears in the shape of a mermaid. It is said that those who she takes for her lovers, return with a new spirit and become more successful and good looking. She is a symbol of fertility, a protector of women and children, a guardian of sea creatures and natural environments.
Our mission at Mami Wata is to be a creative force for good in Africa. We do this through:
Manufacturing in Africa
We design and manufacture our premium range of apparel, surfboards and accessories in Africa to create jobs and build skills in the Motherland. Creating jobs grows economies. Growing economies creates jobs. It’s a virtuous circle.
Where possible we use local materials, like African cotton. This sets us apart from many other brands out there as only about 8% of the world’s cotton is African cotton; this means that whenever you buy anything from us, you’re helping us support local farmers and communities.
We respect and share the goodness of nature by using sustainable African materials like Better Cotton Initiative cotton and compostable/recycled packaging.
Supporting African youth surf therapy organisations
Waves for Change and Surfers Not Street Children are world-leading African surf therapy organisations reaching over 1600 children a day through their programs and projects. They are fantastic organizations, improving lives through the Power of African Surf and we support them.
We are especially proud to have won a Nelson Mandela Change Maker Award in partnership with Surfers Not Street Children in recognition of our work together.
Strengthening African surf communities and tourism (aka Afrosurfonomics!)
Quality waves and a strong surfing culture delivers considerable economic, social and environmental values to local communities. We aim to inspire surfers from around the world to come surf in Africa and we want local communities to participate and benefit.
Wherever you are in the world, through our range of products and brand storytelling we want to connect you to African surf culture and that’s what we spend our time on at Mami Wata HQ (in addition to checking the surf report).
Mami Wata Ownership
In 2016 three South Africans, Andy Davis, Nick Dutton and Peet Pienaar had a conversation about the need for a proudly African global surf brand. The business launched in 2017.
In 2018 Selema Masekela joined as a co-founder along with investors from South Africa, the Americas, Europe and Japan. In 2022 Selema stepped back from his roles and responsibilities as co-founder, but remains a shareholder and creative collaborator.
In 2023, Black-owned South African investment company Jonith Ventures joined as partners with a shareholding and advisory seats on our board for Jonith chairman, Hardy McQueen, and Ashley Baker of House of Mandela Lifestyle, with Kweku Mandela joining as an advisor to the board.