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Burning Spear News

NZO African styles - at home and abroad

Jan 8, 2021

NZO Workshop Volunteer Mahmoud Hallak transforms a plain wood book shelf into a work of art


The subject of furniture may not be exciting to everyone but, at your Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles stores, it’s about building an independent African economy!

Uhuru Furniture stores get donations of unique pieces from all over.

We receive a wide range of styles including mid-century, Victorian, modern, craftsman, mission, Queen Anne, Eastlake, Louis XIV and much more.

It seems that nearly all European cultures are represented, and even some Asian, but African-styled home amenities remain void.

It was the visionary leadership of Deputy Chair Ona Zené Yeshitela, who heads the work of all the economic institutions of the Uhuru Movement, that was determined to fill this void!

"NZO - African Styles at Home and Abroad" is the African design product line that was the result.

This line is being developed by the African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) and Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles to expand the economic base for the African independent economy.

NZO means house or home in Kikongo. NZO brings African self-reliance and culture into your home.

NZO products include furniture hand-painted with African designs and upholstered with African fabrics, African accent pillows, jewelry, laminated portraits of African leaders and African themed greeting cards.

Uhuru Furniture also sells Fusion Mineral Paints. We use these non-VOC paints to create one-of-a-kind NZO and “Painted by Uhuru” products.

NZO provides what our African community wants and needs—beautiful, practical and affordable African-styled furniture, accessories and home décor.

Uhuru Furniture in Philadelphia has a thriving and exciting NZO line including a beautiful section of the store dedicated to all NZO products.

If you’re located on the East Coast, Uhuru Furniture at 832 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia is a must-stop-spot!

This year, Uhuru Furniture in Oakland was awarded a “Stop Waste” grant by Alameda County.

This grant recognizes the NZO program as making a significant impact on the environment by keeping good quality furniture out of the landfills. An average of 9.8 million tons of furniture are dumped into landfills every year!

With the help of the grant, Uhuru Furniture in Oakland has hosted six successful painting trainings and workshops. Uhuru Furniture employee Khaboshi Imbukwa coordinates the workshops that are open to all levels of volunteers.

We’ve been able to successfully social distance by hosting these workshops at APEDF’s beautiful Akwaaba Hall.

We’ve transformed furniture into inspiring and beautiful decor!

You can volunteer with NZO! We are also hiring a part-time artist to work exclusively with our NZO program. 

Are you an artist? We need you! Visit and click on “Job & Volunteer Opportunities” to sign up as a volunteer or to apply for the position.

NZO furniture is furniture that we can all get excited about!

To see the NZO pieces that are currently available visit one of our two Uhuru Furniture stores.

West Coast:, 3742 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610

East Coast:, 832 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130.


Help build NZO and Uhuru Furniture!

2021-01-08-odc-nzo-02-620wNZO takes a scuffed oak stool and transforms it into a bold statement of African pride. This one sold fast!

Uhuru Volunteer Rev. Yolanda R. Simmons demonstrates NZO painting techniques in front of Uhuru Furniture in Oakland.

NZO furniture created at Uhuru Furniture in Oakland

NZO Workshop Coordinator Khaboshi Imbukwa paints a wood plant stand. Finished result (inset) a beautiful NZO piece


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