While strolling through Addis Ababa with Charlie from Charlie's Travels, we stumbled on a wonderful little shop in an expensive neighbourhood in Ethiopia's capital. Founded by Osman Mohammed in 1996, Ras Africa is a fashion label that has since been known in the Ethiopian scene for it's exotic leather collections of extraordinary quality.
Osman has been collecting vintage artifacts for decades
On entering we were welcome by Osman who greeted us with a warm welcome and was eager to tell us about Ras Africa. Despite what we initially thought, Ras Africa isn't actually a shop but more of a showroom where Osman displays his creations and welcomes his friends to drink coffee among his extensive collection of vintage items that he has been collecting for decades.
Coffee brings people together
Ethiopia is an incredibly unique destination and for me one of the only countries i've visited in Africa where I actually experienced coffee culture. Uganda and Kenya are large scale coffee exporters, however it is viewed as a cash crop and locals generally prefer tea. Seeing people all over Ethiopia coming together over coffee or "buna" was amazing and for me enforced the belief that Ethiopia may be the native origin of coffee.
If you happen to find yourself in Addis Ababa, take an hour to stroll over to Ras Africa to listen to some vinyl, have a cup of coffee with Osman and chat about the art, fashion and music scene in Ethiopia's capital.