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You can purchase beautiful crafts while supporting artisans in Africa—save $7 with code IMPACT7

You can purchase beautiful crafts while supporting artisans in Africa—save $7 with code IMPACT7

Supporting artisans directly not only helps them financially but can helps foster economic equality in general. At our very own Upworthy Market, you can be assured that your purchases directly support artisans who craft their own products. To this aim, we want to highlight some artisans in various African countries while celebrating their work and culture. Read personal stories by the creators and view their collections below.



1. Rita Addo's Story

"I am a designer by profession. I do my designing with African concepts in mind. Growing up, I loved to sketch things on paper. It was a natural talent, I guess. The carvers who collaborate with me use traditional tools. As the demand grows, I'm able to give work to more carvers, which generates more income for them and their families. It is possible one or two carvers who show a keen interest can make a career out of this. The workshop also provides local women with a constant supply of wood scraps for cooking. With the sale of my jewelry, women in the neighborhood who enjoy stringing beads also get to earn some money when there is an increase in demand. We use mainly wood, recycled aluminum sheets and recycled plastic beads." – Rita Addo

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2. Ila Suleyman's Story

"I was born into a family of artists who have carved and crafted wood and leather products for several family generations. I have been told the crafts that we do date back to more than a century ago, but it was my great-grandfather who took on the craft and made a real venture out of it. I have since introduced new materials in my collection by exploring the use of other natural materials such as wood and some recycled materials. These are designed and crafted by me with assistance from my childhood friend Deri, who has become my partner in the workshop, along with a staff of five." – Ila Suleyman

Ila's West African jewelry traces its roots deep into the past. Exquisite beadwork harkens back to an ancient form of currency. Cowrie shells carry with them symbolic value. Religious, spiritual and nature-inspired motifs are featured in the handiwork of West African jewelry artisans, who now infuse new techniques and materials into their creations.

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3. Akwele Suma's Story

Akwele Suma Glory is a multi-award-winning and dynamic mixed media artist. She developed her trademark style, which includes her choice of materials, concept and techniques that allow her audience to see beyond her physical works. Akwele has also distinguished herself in ethnic jewelry design for more than a decade. Her work with mixed media has made art lovers admire her flair and profound perception, which are rooted in her strong faith in God. Akwele's work is a continuous process of experimentation, research and development, and this has earned her a number of awards nationally and internationally for both her paintings and jewelry collections.

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4. Abdul Aziz Mohamadu's Story

"In 2000, I went into carving and since then I have never regretted it. I am now self-employed and there are five assistants working with me. In addition, I have taught seven other people how to carve, and they are also on their own now and doing well. When I get large orders, I call on them for their assistance. I look forward to training more people in this craft and also to continuing with my paintings." – Abdul Aziz Mohamadu

Today, Abdul spreads love to the five assistants who work with him, as well as the seven other individuals he has trained in the craft of carving. Even as his work has attained incredible success—being featured in exhibits in Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin—his journey is far from over.

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5. Robert Aidoo-Taylor's Story

"I am a self-taught artist. I never took any classes or attended courses. I use manual tools to carve my pieces from wood and then I paint them myself. I enjoy working alone, and my inspiration comes from nature. In 2012, however, I started experimenting with various materials including wood, waxed linen and synthetic cords to add diversify to my products. From these and other media, I now make bangles, bracelets and necklaces." – Robert Aidoo-Taylor

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Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

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Family

Professional tidier Marie Kondo says she's 'kind of given up' after having three kids

Hearing Kondo say, 'My home is messy,' is sparking joy for moms everywhere.

Marie Kondo playing with her daughters.

Marie Kondo's book, "The Life-Changing Art of Tidying Up," has repeatedly made huge waves around the world since it came out in 2010. From eliminating anything that didn't "spark joy" from your house to folding clothes into tiny rectangles and storing them vertically, the KonMari method of maintaining an organized home hit the mark for millions of people. The success of her book even led to two Netflix series.

It also sparked backlash from parents who insisted that keeping a tidy home with children was not so simple. It's one thing to get rid of an old sweater that no longer brings you joy. It's entirely another to toss an old, empty cereal box that sparks zero joy for you, but that your 2-year-old is inexplicably attached to.

To be fair, Kondo never forced her way into anyone's home and made them organize it her way. But also to be fair, she didn't have kids when she wrote her best-selling book on keeping a tidy home. The reality is that keeping a home organized and tidy with children living in it is a whole other ballgame, as Kondo has discovered now that she has three kids of her own.

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Pop Culture

YouTube star MrBeast sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery to help them see again

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up."

YouTube star sponsors 1,000 people's cataract surgery

Blindness touches people's lives around the world and YouTube star Jimmy Donaldson, more popularly known as MrBeast, is trying to do something about it. Donaldson made it his mission to help 1,000 people regain their eyesight with the help of Dr. Jeff Levenson, an ophthalmologist and surgeon in Jacksonville, Florida.

Levenson has been operating a program called "Gift of Sight" for over 20 years. The program provides free cataract surgery to uninsured people who are legally blind for free, so long as they meet certain criteria. Levenson had never heard of Donaldson, and he almost hung up on him when the YouTube star called to ask about a partnership.

"I had never heard of MrBeast so I almost hung up. But gratefully did not hang up," Levenson told CNN.

After figuring out that Donaldson was indeed a real person who wanted to help others, the duo called around the Jacksonville area to determine the people who needed help the most. They got their list of clients from free clinics and homeless shelters, which covered the United States portion of the surgeries.

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A mom makes sensory sand by putting Cheerios in a blender.

A parenting influencer who goes by the name @ellethevirgo on TikTok has shared a brilliant hack that can turn a simple box of Cheerios into a fun sensory sand experience. The great part is that the sand is edible, so you don’t have to worry if your child puts some in their mouth, which they will inevitably do.

The recipe for Cheerios sensory sand is pretty simple:

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Gaël Monfils makes tennis a must-see.

Tennis isn't always the most entertaining sport to watch, especially if you're not particularly interested in seeing a ball get slapped across a net at 1,000,000 mph approximately 17,000 times. You could probably get whiplash or eye strain if you focused too hard on it. While some people love the sport, others need a little more than grunts and sneaker sounds to capture their attention.

If you're in the group of people who need to be entertained, look no further than Gaël Monfils, a professional French tennis player that has earned the nickname, "The Entertainer." Monfils turned pro in 2004 and has multiple championship matches under his belt, and yet he still takes the time to be...extra while playing.

In a compilation video uploaded to TikTok, we see the 36-year-old tennis player dancing after hitting the ball across the net just out of his opponent's reach. But of course, he also doesn't hit the ball like your average player, either. In one part of the video, Monfils jumps up extremely high and bicycle kicks as he hits the ball with his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

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