Our goal at Africa Love is to bring the spirit of Africa to you, while giving back to local African artisans and their families through conscientious and sustainable product development. Every order placed at Africa Love helps sustain and prosper local communities in Senegal.
Serigne "Mara" Diakhate
Mara, a world traveler, entrepreneur, US citizen and Senegalese-born native with deep business and trade ties to the African continent, as well as North America, Europe and Asia; opened Africa Love in Town Square, Las Vegas in November 2017. The store is the first of its kind in Las Vegas, and it showcases all that Africa has to offer by way of music, fashion, customs, dialects, entertainment and so much more!
For the past six years, Mara has operated an African import/export business under the trade name “Mara Imports & Traders” out of Los Angeles, CA. Through this venture, he has been able to import beautifully handcrafted instruments from Mali, Ghana and Ivory Coast, exquisite handwoven baskets made by female artisans in the rural region of Thies Senegal, gorgeous and colorful raffia handbags from the Island of Madagascar and so much more.
As a panAfricanist, Mara is also the founder/CEO of Da’African Village, a 501(c)(3) organization that serves as a “bridge of togetherness” between Africa and the US. His mission is to share the rich culture and tradition of West Africa with the rest of the world. Well known in the travel and tourism industry, Mara has guided celebrities such as Serena Williams, Jessie Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Ky-Mani Marley, Jimmy Cliff and many others. It was during this time that Mara realized the need to create a comprehensive book entitled Talking Wolof with Da'African Village that helps those traveling abroad to communicate more effectively with the people of West Africa.
Nicole D. Ford "Nikki"
Nicole Ford, was born naturally gifted with a musical ear and has always been very passionate about the performing arts. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley and spent several years working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Universal Pictures, and Windswept Holdings, where she was senior vice president and CFO of one of the largest independent music publishing companies in the world at the time.
Since moving to Las Vegas, Nicole has studied various styles of percussion including but not limited to Brazilian, African, Afro-Cuban and Middle Eastern with some of the best percussionists in Las Vegas! She has since been blessed with many opportunities to perform in various venues throughout the city, as well as at private and corporate events. In 2016, she and professional drummer/percussionist, Angelo Stokes along with master drummer, Papa Diarra Zumana, formed an African and world culture performance group named Triba!, with the intention of celebrating African and other world cultures through the sharing of song, drumming, music, dance, acrobatics, and other specialty entertainment.
In 2017, she joined forces with Atito Gohi, master dancer and choreographer, and Eric Bli Bi Gore, master drummer to become a percussionist and part of the management team of Vozolo Dance Company. In 2018 Nicole became business partners with Mara Diakhate, owner/CEO of Africa Love and Da'African Village.
Photo Credit: Marisa Townsend