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Mastercard Foundation and My World of Bags’ Kafawa Training Program graduates its first cohort of young talent

Ibadan, March 2022 – Following its launch in October 2021, the Kafawa Training Program, a partnership between My World of Bags and the Mastercard Foundation, has formally graduated its first set of fully-trained leather industry artisans, entrepreneurs, craftsmen, and women. The program’s focus is to train young Nigerian women and men in leather and non-leather manufacturing work.

The program up-skills young Nigerians in artisanal work and provides them with the tools they need to find work opportunities or to venture into entrepreneurship. To date, the program has enrolled over 400 young women and men through in-person and virtual sessions.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Femi Olayebi, Creative Director, FemiHandbags, explained that through initiatives like this, the company has sought out ways to level the playing field and improve access for Nigerian MSMEs operating in the leather space. The goal, therefore, for Kafawa is to drive the growth of the leather sector and improve youth unemployment rates.

L-R: Jerry Tagang, Director, Directorate of Leather Training and Production Technology, Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST); Sefiyat Ismaila, Kafawa Handbags Manufacturing Trainee; Ridwan Ige, Kafawa Footwear Construction Trainee; Femi Olayebi, Program Director, Kafawa and CEO, My World of Bags/FemiHandbags.

“We are encouraged by the enormous potential that exists across Nigeria’s youth group and we are excited to be creating channels that will tap into that potential. ThroughKafawa, hundreds of young dreamers have started defining their goals and taking control of their futures, and we are immensely proud of their progress and achievements. We are honored to be driving such change, and we look forward to deepening this impact in the coming years”, said Olayebi.

Commenting on the program, the MSME Finance Lead for Mastercard Foundation, Chioma Nwagboso, revealed that one key area of the Foundation’s charitable objective is access to learning, of which the Kafawa Training Program is ideally aligned to this purpose. “We are grateful to our partner, My World of Bags, for creating opportunities for young people in Nigeria to thrive and succeed. We are confident that the Kafawagraduates will use their newly-acquired technical and soft skills to reach their full potential”, she said.

In Nigeria, Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy seeks to enable access to dignified work for 10 million youth by 2030 – with a 70% focus on women -across the agricultural and adjacent sector, the creative industry, and through digital interventions.

Beyond access and empowerment, Kafawa’s vision is to change the narrative around production, tailoring, and manufacturing jobs, with most of the program’s recent graduates starting their own businesses or joining the workforce.

“When I see my work and I’m able to do things that I thought were impossible, it gives me inspiration that I can do more. Kafawa has given me so much hope for a future, so much hope as a shoemaker”, said a recent graduate, Opeyemi Okanlawon.

The graduating cohort received completion certificates, and in some cases, certificates of achievement for outstanding performance. In addition, following a trade test (held earlier) administered by the Nigerian Ministry of Labour, Productivity, and Employment, candidates received national certification, which qualifies them to operate as fully-fledged leather artisans. There were also business awards and grants given to the top graduating students, courtesy of the Lagos Leather Fair.

Kafawa is set to roll out the next set of training sessions in late 2022.

Media Enquiries

My World of Bags Ltd

Oluyemi Olukanni

Communications Lead, My World of Bags/FemiHandbags

Mastercard Foundation

Nonye Mpho Omotola

Country Lead, Program Communications, Nigeria

About My World of Bags

My World of Bags (MWOB) is a bag design and corporate accessories manufacturing company, and the parent company of Femi Handbags — a bespoke line of leather handbags and accessories. Founded in 1992 by Femi Olayebi, the company designs and produces a dynamic array of products for businesses and individuals alike.

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My World of Bags Launches Kafawa Training Program in Partnership with the Mastercard Foundation

Lagos, 27 Oct 2021: Today, My World of Bags, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation announced the launch of Kafawa, a training initiative designed to bridge the skills gap in the leather and non-leather manufacturing industry.

My World of Bags, the parent company of FemiHandbags, one of Africa’s leading luxury accessory brands, is partnering with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works to upskill hundreds of Nigerian youths and connect them to work opportunities in the creative sector.

L-R: Oluwayemi Olukanni (Course Design Lead, Kafawa), Nkem Okocha (Founder, Mamamoni), Mrs. Femi Olayebi (CEO, My World of Bags Ltd), Sinmi Olayebi (Project Lead, Kafawa)

Kafawa, which means ‘establishment’ in Hausa, will kick-off its pilot edition in Oyo state and will launch a series of intensive courses in hard and soft skills. The goal is to empower and establish a highly skilled generation of youth to enhance the quality of workmanship in Nigeria – and Africa’s leather and non-leather industries.

In a statement by the Program Director and Founder of My World of Bags/FemiHandbags, Mrs. Femi Olayebi, she said, “There is a breadth of potential in the leather and non-leather manufacturing industries in Nigeria, and yet, there is a lack of skilled hands to bring that potential to life. This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is the perfect opportunity to achieve this, by not only equipping young Nigerians with the necessary skill sets to grow and expand the sector but also to enhance their own economic outcomes. We are honored to be driving this change, and we are committed to creating access for as many young people at the bottom of the pyramid as possible. We truly believe that there is dignity in working your way to the top, no matter how low you start, and we hope to begin to change mindsets and create a chain reaction.”

CEO, My World of Bags Ltd – Mrs. Femi Olayebi giving the Welcome Address

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Chioma Nwagboso, Program Lead, MSME Finance at the Mastercard Foundation said, “The Mastercard Foundation is excited at the potential for Kafawa to create a new generation of young people with a changed mindset and new-found belief that production, tailoring, and manufacturing can provide dignified and fulfilling work opportunities.”

Over the past five years, My World of Bags has been an active advocate for skill-building, through its annual training program for leather designers, in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC); and for expanding access and creating a platform for visibility, through its annual Lagos Leather Fair. This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation enables the company to further expand its reach, intensify and broaden the training curricula and offer placement opportunities within the leather and non-leather manufacturing industry.

The first cohort of trainees, selected based on their passion, availability, and readiness to strive for better, have officially been on-boarded into the Kafawa Training Program and are very eager to begin a journey that will involve intensive training over a period of 3-4 months. Application for the next cohort will be open in March 2022.

Media Enquiries and

My World of Bags Ltd

Oluyemi Olukanni (Communications Lead, My World of Bags/FemiHandbags)

Mastercard Foundation

Nonye Mpho Omotola, Country Lead, Program Communications, Nigeria

About My World of Bags

My World of Bags (MWOB) is a bag design and corporate accessories manufacturing company, and the parent company of Femi Handbags — a bespoke line of leather handbags and accessories. Founded in 1992 by Femi Olayebi, the company designs and produces a dynamic array of products for businesses and individuals alike.

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Highlights from The Lagos Leather Fair 2019.

We simply can’t get over the AMAZING SUCCESS that was this year’s Lagos Leather Fair, which took place last weekend. Feeling nostalgic? So are we!

Follow us as we journey back, and reflect on the highlights at LLF2019:

The Fair, themed “Advancing The Conversation”, kicked off with a private auction on Friday, September 6th, held at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi. A mix of seasoned and up-and-coming leather designers were handpicked to showcase some of their exclusive pieces to key players in the industry.

The main event took place on Saturday & Sunday (September 7th & 8th) at The Harbour Point, Victoria Island. Both days were brimming with people, taking part in the conversations and workshops, and exploring and shopping at the myriad of designers’ stalls. Guests also experienced a series of amazing catwalk presentations featuring leather products from our very own exhibitors.

Day 1The event was officially opened by Mrs. Otuyalo the representative of the First Lady of Lagos State.

Throughout the day, we held three insightful conversations which spanned topics from copyright law and branding to money and business. Day 1 ended with a practical workshop on the ins and outs of using technology to build products.

DAY 2The exhibition continued on Day 2, with conversations, workshops and catwalk presentations running throughout the day. Once again, we had a series of local and international experts share their knowledge on design, sourcing, manufacturing, retail and storytelling, to name a few!
So there you have it! 3 days of exciting talent, enlightening conversations, networking and so much more! We had a blast and hope you did too!

We’re signing off for now, but don’t worry, you can catch us on  Instagram, Twitter and our website.

See you – bigger and better – in 2020!

The Lagos Leather Team.

Visit our Website
A big thank you to all our Sponsors, Partners, Speakers, Exhibitors and attendees for being part of #LLF2019.
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LLF2019 Day 1 Highlight

What an EXCITING day we had yesterday!

Were you able to make it to the event? As expected, it was truly one-of-a-kind!

From the opening by Her Excellency, First Lady of Lagos State (ably represented by Mrs. Otuyalo), to the exhibitions, conversations, and presentations, we had a swell time!

Don’t just take our word for it – have a look for yourselves on our Instagram page. For now, here are a few pictures from the event.

We have more exciting activities lined up for today, 8th September. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this!

Check out the schedule:

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With every edition of the Lagos Leather Fair, one of our overarching goals is to ensure that the Fair provides a truly holistic experience. In addition to the thrill of discovering new designers, and indulging in the excitement of shopping and runway presentations, Conversations and Workshops will create an opportunity for learning. These sessions equip designers, and other entrepreneurs across the creative industries with new ideas, new approaches, and best practices for navigating the complexities of their unique business environments.


This year, there are a dynamic and thrilling series of talks scheduled.

On Saturday, September 7:


1. Creativity and the Law: How to Protect your Design and your Brand

It’s one thing to put in the work that is required to produce high-quality work that helps you to create a memorable brand; it’s quite another to ensure that you retain ownership of it. In this conversation, Chinyere Okorocha (Partner, Jackson, Etti & Edu) and Annie Oti(Founder, Africa Fashion Lawdiscuss the importance of copyright and its application.


2. Talking Money: Understanding your Numbers to Access Capital

The importance of finance for achieving business goals and expanding one’s platform cannot be underestimated. More important than identifying the most effective potential sources of funding, is the approach — what you need, and how it will get you to where you need to be. Adenike Adeyemi (Executive Director, FATE Foundation) and Olutosin Oni(Principal: Investments and Portfolio Managements, EchoVC Partners) discuss.


3. Business Lessons: A Conversation with Mark Stephenson

Mark Stephenson is the Managing Director of Sandstorm Kenya — a Nairobi-based bag design, production and retail company which has been in existence for over 20 years. In this conversation, he discusses his journey, his story and the most critical lessons he’s learnt with Omoyemi Akerele (Convener, Lagos Fashion Week).


4. Leveraging Technology to Build a Better Brand

As the 4th Industrial Revolution beckons, understanding the confluence between technology and the work we produce is becoming increasingly critical to enabling brands to differentiate themselves from their contemporaries. Co-founder of Nigeria’s first Industrial Design school, Azuka Ijekeye, will lead this Workshop.

On Sunday, September 8:


5. The Art of Retail: Getting your Product to Market

Gaining brand visibility begins with understanding the consumer and how to reach them; this requires tailoring channel strategy approaches not only to the consumer, but also to the brand image you seek to create. In this conversation, Tara Fela-Durotoye (Founder, House of Tara International) and Diana Opoti (Founder, Designing Africa Collective, Kenya) discuss.


6. The Designer and their Brand: The Power of Storytelling

There is no way more beautiful to convey a story than through one’s art. In this discussion, four diverse, leading creatives — Femi Olayebi (Founder, FemiHandbags and convener ofthe Lagos Leather Fair); Thebe Ikalafeng (Founder and CEO, Brand Leadership Africa);Shem Paronelli (Designer and Creative Director ); and Kola Oshalusi (Creative Executive, Insigna Media Production) gather to discuss.


7. Leather-Crafting: An Insider’s Guide

This workshop session will lay out the finer details of creating quality leather products, in order to equip budding designers with a foundational understanding of the tools, skills, and best practices for charting a course in the leather manufacturing space. Obiora Ononye (Founder, Obi Leather) leads this workshop.

This year’s carefully-created selection of conversations and workshops promises to be enlightening and far too engaging to miss out on.
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Meet some of the brands Exhibiting at The Lagos Leather Fair 2019

Meet some of the brands Exhibiting at The Lagos Leather Fair 2019.

The Lagos Leather Fair is about the best thing that has happened to the Nigerian leather industry. The Fair was birthed out of the need to bring all the major players in the leather industry together under one roof to address the industry’s challenges as well as the way forward.

This year’s edition promises to be bigger than the first two editions combined and will feature a specially curated private investor showcase, exhibitions by leather designers and manufacturers, a great shopping experience, runway presentations, networking opportunities, and knowledge-sharing activities, amongst others. The 2019 edition of the Lagos Leather Fair, tagged #LLF2019, which will take place from Saturday, September 7 to Sunday, September 8, 2019 at The Harbour Point, Victoria Island, is themed: Advancing the Conversation.

It will play host to about 70 Nigerian leather designers and feature 5 topical Conversations, 2 Workshops and 6  Runway Presentations. This year will also showcase a few international designers.

Here we introduce to you the first set of exhibitors who will be showcasing their crafts.


Yili was founded with the hope of changing the narrative of producing and purchasing quality leather footwear in Africa. Their aim is to celebrate creativity and promote artisanal craftsmanship.

Yili footwear style and designs draw influence and inspiration from colours, textures, travel and the interesting things in between.
All the styles in each collection have a personal inspiration behind it. The colours represent Yili’s attempt to capture the zest of life.

Their sandals are handcrafted using a variety of locally sourced leathers, fabric and skin of premium quality.


Since 2017, AABOUX has been creating unique, stylish, luxury leather goods proudly handcrafted in Lagos, Nigeria.

Designer Zainab Aliyu and her team explore various silhouettes with interesting combinations of locally ethically sourced skins and textured leathers.

Our distinct signature stitch-less bags combine beauty and functionality.

Our vision is to be a Global pan-African brand with an ethos of quality craftsmanship, elegance and style.


Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi was founded in 2015. The brand is about making leather and asooke accessible to the fashion-forward modern man and woman. Beyond accessibility and creating fashionable yet very durable pieces for brand savvy trendsetters, we are about promoting culture and giving back to the community. The essence of our design philosophy is to produce sustainable fashion accessories that are uniquely Afrocentric, drawing inspiration from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria and other African cultures by telling our stories to the world through patterns and colours woven into beautiful fabrics.

We pay critical attention to every detail in our design and production process, through excellent craftsmanship and ethical values.


Hanker and Reech is a Nigerian Leather Goods Brand with a real passion for crafting functional products with distinctive attention to details, aesthetics and durability.

Their pieces are carefully designed and crafted to complement an appreciation for contemporary fashion and lifestyle.

They also cater to customized pieces which reflect personal preference, style and brand identity. They believe very much in the concept of value and constantly endeavour to fuse this with our creativity.

HankerandReech Leather Goods.  Aspire….Achieve!

PereLei is a leather goods brand that creates finely crafted leather pieces utilizing the finest array of colours textures and skins. The brand was born out of the need for finely finished leather goods produced locally. From inception, it was apparent the need for inculcating world-class standards within the local leather goods market. Currently, the brand is engaged in the production of items such as bags, shoes, accessories and corporate souvenirs and other gifts. We pride ourselves on passionately creating world-class leather goods locally.

Lamide Samuel is an Artisanal Leather Accessories Label established in 2016. Made in Africa, they take pride in employing traditional artistic techniques of craftsmanship to interpret local creative genius with an urban and contemporary taste.

Their designs appeal to Fashion-forward consumers who value authenticity and style.
The brand believes in purpose and sustainability; Their leathers are sourced in Nigeria and across Africa, thier creations are locally produced in Lagos, Nigeria by hand, They also engage experienced artisans from Senegal and Ethiopia. Our noble approach to connecting and adopting unique cultural know-how and stories from accross the continent.

Each one of their pieces inspires the spirit of African arts and pays homage to their brand’s core values of love,  originality and craftsmanship.


We welcome sponsorships and partnerships from companies and other organisations. This is an ideal way to demonstrate your organisation’s interest and commitment to great initiatives like ours.

Get in touch here.