When you hear the word Kush, what comes to mind? Well the owner of Kush Roots, wants you to think of a majestic ancient African kingdom. He wants you to envision royalty and beauty. Most importantly, he wants you to think of his clothing brand that he created to honor all of the above.
“I named the company Kush because I’m somebody who loves the story of the continent,” said owner Davide Tanzi. “One of the first civilizations in Africa and in the world is Kemet and Kush. So the brand is honoring that.”
The brand sells striking hoodies, tees, joggers, and more emblazoned with designs like the Kush Roots logo, the continent of Africa, and empowering phrases about African heritage in dazzling colorways. There is also a wide range of hats, socks, bags, and other accessories to choose from.
As a brand, Kush Roots seeks to empower, inspire, spread knowledge, wisdom, and pride to Black people across the planet. This desire to inspire others to take pride in their heritage and roots stems from Tanzi’s own journey.
The Canadian took a trip to visit his homeland of Ethiopia for the first time in 30 years. He was blown away by the rich history and beauty, but also the harsh poverty he witnessed. Saddened yet inspired, he returned home with a new mission: create a company that would help him give back.
“One thing I found extremely hard to cope with was the street children who were hanging out with no parents,” he said. “Children from the ages of three with no clothing and nothing. I thought, ‘My God, nobody deserves to live like this ever.’ I told myself one day I will start a company where a little percentage will go to the children.”
Since he returned from that trip in 2019, he has worked tirelessly around his full-time career in transportation to make this dream a reality. At present, he is putting aside a portion of each item sold to support individuals and organizations in Ethiopia and across the continent.
He is even planning to take these initial few months of earnings over to the African continent soon — with a trip planned for early 2022 that spans Ghana, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.
Tanzi says he hopes his business is not only successful but also that it inspires others to start businesses with giving back to the African continent in mind.
“On a larger scale, we need to support each other in order to move forward and to build up the [African] continent. The [African] continent has huge potential — a lot of people are investing in it and we should do something to be a part of that by any means possible.”