Malaika Collective is a brand that represents the radiance, regality, and resilience of the African diaspora. We created Malaika Collective to foster a multicultural home for Black and Brown people from all parts of the African diaspora and allies alike. As a collective, we strive to create content that reminds you of the comfort of your home country and the promise of new beginnings. Malaika Collective creates and celebrates the fabric of home -- the one we’re born into and the one we create in community.
The Malaika Collective is a culmination of a five year venture of innovative storytelling through fashion, media, and education. Empowered by her Ghanaian and Kenyan heritage, our founder, Rita Bunatal, began to build the Malaika brand through sketching designs in 2015, with the launch of Malaika Apparel Co., the apparel branch of the collective. Our iconic design, “Black Gold: Fist of Solidarity,” remains the number one sold out item with Malaika. Our designs are more than ideas, they have impact.
Rita Bunatal is the founder & creative director of The Malaika Collective (formerly known as Malaika Apparel Co.), a Pan African lifestyle brand. Envisioned in the spring of 2015, Rita Bunatal started to create apparel designs that were inspired by the happiness, pain, frustration, joy, anger and excitement she felt in the midst of not only being a 1st generation African, but also as a black woman living between the U.S. and Ghana. As a Communications Major, she was inspired by various misrepresentations of the narratives surrounding Black bodies in the media, as well as the misunderstanding of each other within the diaspora . Since the launch of Malaika Apparel Co, her work has been featured in BuzzFeed, The New York Times, Blavity, HerCampus & Essence Magazine. Through this brand, she hopes to change and reshape the dominant narrative surrounding Africa.
Rita holds a B.S. in Communication Management and Design with a Corporate Communications focus and minors in African Diaspora studies & Communication studies. She identifies as a Ghanaian - Kenyan American & a Pan-African womanist. She also spends time exploring the complex identity formations of young Africans who continue to live between Africa and the United States. She was also recognized for her work with viral photo campaign during her sophomore year in college -- The Real Africa: Fight the Stereotype. The campaign dispelled common stereotypes about Africa and was featured on CNN, BET, USA Today amongst many others. She was also named a Future of Ghana 30 Under 30 Pioneer in 2019.
Rita continues to do work & create art that explores the complex identity formations of young Africans who continue to live between Africa and the US.