Brenda Katwesigye, founder of Wazi Vision (Uganda)
Brenda Katwesigye, founder of Wazi Vision (Uganda)

Overview:

Renew Capital invests in promising growth-oriented small and medium enterprises and gives them the support they need to turn them into market leaders.

KAMPALA – The Renew Capital Angels have invested in Wazi Vision, a women-founded Ugandan eyewear startup that seeks to change the eyewear industry in Africa.

Renew Capital invests in promising growth-oriented small and medium enterprises and gives them the support they need to turn them into market leaders.

Founders Brenda Katwesigye Baganzi and Geogette Ochieng Ndabukiye launched Wazi in response to a gap in Uganda’s eyewear market

“Accessing high-quality eyewear in Africa is often prohibitively expensive and unattainable for the majority of the population. However, available alternatives are of subpar quality and fail to offer adequate value to customers” says Baganzi, noting that they sought to address these pain points for the African eyewear consumer.

“We provide eyewear that is both high-quality and affordable, relatively accessible for the mass market, and designed to be comfortable for African faces,” Baganzi says.

Wazi glasses are made by a skilled African team who consider various facial features to ensure each pair of frames is fashionable and comfortable. Wazi also allows customers to design frames that capture their individual personality and choice of material including acetate and sustainable eco materials like cow horn, bamboo and denim.

Wazi glasses are becoming popular with the youth for their wide selection of chic styles and unique and trendy brand persona. Wazi plans to open a new store in one of the busiest suburbs in Kampala to cater to demand.

“And because making eyewear accessible to everyone is part of our mission, we also partner with corporates to give back to low-income communities,” says Ndabukiye.

With the help of an investment from Renew Capital Angels, Wazi plans to expand its product line and enhance its distribution capacity in Kampala and beyond.

“Innovation within the eyewear sector is at a nascent stage in sub-Saharan Africa. We like the fact that Wazi is a homegrown technology-driven business looking to improve the accessibility of unique and affordable eyewear. We look forward to working with Geogette and team in creating an eyewear brand by Africans, for Africans, in Africa,” said Diana Njuguna, Renew Capital, and Senior Investment Manager.

Wazi Vision conducts many eye test camps in hard-to-reach areas around Uganda. The free services cater to those who ordinarily wouldn’t afford to see an ophthalmologist, yet vision problems are common in the country.

And with a cross-subsidization model, those who are diagnosed with refractive errors get eyewear they manufacture, at affordable prices.

Using recycled plastic, it is the first company in East Africa to design and manufacture eyewear. They also use other locally available materials like cow horns, bamboo, and offcuts from clothes like jeans. And, they produce custom-made frames.