Here’s an heartwarming interview to keep you snug. Entrepreneur-dad and founder of Afritease, Lante Bannerman, shares openly and vulnerably about his brand and fatherhood in this inspiring interview. Enjoy!
Tell us about the story and the person behind Afritease
My name is Lante Bannerman. I am a Motswana/Ghanaian and among other titles, owner of Afritease.
While visiting my other home, Accra, I felt the need to create something of my own. That my future generations could identify with and continue when I’m gone. I was close to turning 30 and deep in introspection. Questioning where my life could have more meaning. And what I could do to bring that meaning to my everyday life.
After some brainstorming, I took to Ghana’s fashion industry. And further into their fabrics and prints. The aim was to show off a product/service the world could see and use no matter the circumstances. I also wanted the product to be relatable to me and our generation.
Ghana’s youth generally make cultural clothing trendy and fresh. There isn’t a divide in what I’d see as only cultural or event clothing compared to 10/15 years ago as a teenager.
Regardless of age, the city men and women wear with pride well fitting, culturally sensitive clothing while keeping to modern trends. That gave me hope for possibilities with Afritease.
Afritease sell leisure wear with African print highlights. We have focused on t-shirts and shirts as the primary product. And recently, have gone into production on female tops, skirts and modern dresses.
Currently we are a by-order only business. Our emphasis is on customization of the clothing. Meeting specific customer demands is a feature in our creative and selling process. But we have seen and met the need for having stock on us to be ideal. For sample and same day sales so all types of customers are satisfied.
We have been in business just under a year.
What are your go to fashion accessories?
The shoe you’re wearing generally represents where you’re going on that day and your readiness for action. A modern fitting shirt or t-shirt can blur these lines and make you look ready for many scenarios.
Fabric and print on a shirt bodes even better in creating a personality to an otherwise generic outfit. That’s a go to for me. With African print you “show yourself” without being invasive or bold in public. Most times I want to go bold but remain comfortable, and not overly attention-seeking.
That’s my view for accessories in general; a well fitted wrist watch, chain or bracelet is enough for me. Dress better when the situation requires but keep it simple on the regular day.
Any tips to share with men on how to look good?
Good style is in finding your identity and remaining comfortable within that view. For me, a cologne, ideal shoes for the day and a neat haircut represents style.
Some feel the need to dress to the nines in their everyday life. That could be necessary for their lifestyle. I’ve always wished to be the type that dresses within comfort. Regardless of my bank account and who I meet.
Are you a Dad?
I have three and a half year old daughter. She is the focus of my relationship with her mum.
CoParenting (outside of marriage) is not ideal. In that not seeing my daughter everyday doesn’t feel right. Painfully, the COVID-19 pandemic forced our longest absence from each other.
Having grown up with both parents I have believed in both parents taking charge in nurturing a child. At the very least until they are of age to mingle with others over a full day.
Being unable to be with my daughter daily does make me feel less of a parent and more of a caretaker at times. For that reason I do my best to mould and communicate with my daughter on a personal level. To ensure we foster a genuine bond transcending roles defined by society.
She knows papa and how he’s there for playtime, hugs and learning new things. I feed and teach her something new each time we meet. Amazingly, she’ll make sure to mention what she learned when reunited. A genuine relationship, communication and understanding with her mummy are vital in raising a child together.
“A genuine relationship, communication and understanding with her mummy are vital in raising a child together.”
What values are important for you to instill in your daughter?
As Africans we are big on respect, P’s and Q’s, greeting and saying sorry. These are typical actions she’s learnt from young, while allowing her to explore her nature and desires.
Have you noticed any style similarities between the two of you?
My daughter is about old enough to learn hobbies and detail preferences. I created Afritease, in part, as a legacy for her to continue. When she’s a teen, fashion trends would have turned another corner. She will be able to merge her fashion sense with the aesthetic of the culturally charged African print.
Thank you Lante for this great interview. Check out Afritease on Instagram.
For more wisdom on parenthood, find out how Maxwell Dichi adjusted to this new time consuming, but fulfilling role. As he shares on how to adjust to life as an entrepreneur dad.