Wazi Vision is a Ugandan firm, female-founded and female-led incorporated 2017 with the vision to upcycle “waste” – such as plastic – into sustainable, high-quality eyewear that is 80% more affordable than market alternatives.
The cost of corrective eye wear and eye exams is prohibitive and barely affordable for the majority of people in low and middle income countries of Africa.
Have we ever really thought about the impact on not only wellbeing but productivity, on all the people who should probably have eye care but don’t? I know someone who used to struggle in school and it turned out it was simply because they could not see the teacher’s notes on the board, and a pair of glassed turned them into a straight-A student.
Wazi Vision isn’t only talking the talk but they are out there, trying to make affordable yet trendy eyewear. While prescription eyewear usually ranges from $100+USD and going, at Wazi Vision starting at 70 000UGX which is just about 20USD one can get a pair…
Earlier during the year Wazi Vision had an open call tasking designers and creatives with a challenge to come up with a concept and design for an AfroCentric range of eyewear made from sustainable and upscaled waste materials that told an authentic African story….
I don’t fancy myself a designer, especially not of eyewear, but Patricia of This Is Me Story! Uganda talked me into the idea of collaborating on this project, like a small spark that became a large flame, the idea took root and we worked on a concept note and sketches.
Before you get excited, wondering if there is a happy ending to this story, there isn’t, our pitch didn’t make the cut, but I think the concept we came up with is a story worth telling….. So here goes:
Thanks to the internet our devices have become like a digital fireplace where we can all gather around everyone equidistantly a click away, irrespective of physical location, sharing warmth and wisdom…
The idea for the design we had in mind was to recreate and capture the essence of digital storytelling as a metaphor that could be seen in a pair glasses.
A man from Zimbabwe and a woman from Uganda connecting over the wires of the internet like a boy and a girl tending to a fire, trading stories that help bring clarity and bring into focus the world around, as would someone putting on a pair of glasses and seeing clearly…
Wazi means Clear in Swahili …. Clear vision
A range of eyewear with a plastic frame made from recycled plastic decorated with a flame design and wire handles made from recycled metal which can be personalized or accessorised with custom beadwork.
The flame design represents the fire around which stories of old have passed giving us a clear vision of where are from and where we are going.
Fire also happens to be my totem, Chauke Mlilo Moto Xinyori Xahumba
But picture that, imagine yourself wearing a custom pair of glasses that meant something to you…. What I would give to see what the finished product would look like.
Checkout our concept note :
PS I didnt have to heart to check out what the winning design looked like, congrats to them, younger me would have burnt the sketches I drew and asked me what I was even thinking…. Older me embraces every part of my journey…