“Bu sta bazofo!” is what you tell someone who looks especially stylish and cool. The sentence is in the Creole language of Cape Verde, an archipelago in Western Africa. You hear the expression often in Cova da Moura, a Cape Verdean community in the outskirts of Lisbon. Not only because most of us speak Creole of the islands, but also because there are so many stylish people here!

Being bazofo is not only a matter of style and fashion. It is also part of our culture and as such, a form of celebrating our identity and standing our ground.


I was born in Cova da Moura, but emigrated early. In London I always missed home: speaking Creole, hearing funaná, walking on the alleys and seeing kids playing on the streets.

I decided to return to Cova da Moura, but I couldn’t find a job. I came up with the idea of opening a corner shop. I wanted to create a space where everyone would feel welcome, and there would always be time for a chat, having a coffee and listening to music. I also wanted to offer some services to the people living in the neighbourhood, to be useful. And I wanted to enjoy my work. That’s how Tabacaria Tropica was opened in 2015.

But I felt I could do a bit more, both in terms of work and in terms of the neighbourhood. This is where Bazofo came into the picture.


Alice is my aunty and she lives and works 20 metres from my home. She’s a tailor, and also employs locals in her atelier. She’s been supporting me from the beginning and gave me advice on how to distinguish a great quality African fabric. Aunty Alice was the one who created the first Bazofo piece ever. This was Zito, the design with a front pocket and details made of African fabrics.

I also work with other local tailors – and plan to work with more people from Cova da Moura. There’s a lot of talent here!


This project would only make sense if the responsibility reached out beyond the limits of Cova da Moura. In terms of materials Bazofo is as sustainable and organic as possible.

Our white t-shirts are Fair Wear certified and Fair made of organic cotton. The t-shirts are printed manually at the Dentu Zona screen printing studio in Cova da Moura using environmentally friendly inks.   The Dentu Zona screen printing studio was opened in 2020 as a result of a crowdfunding campaign. You can read about our campaign at the GoFundMe site.

The Zito and Jon Roque t-shirts are made of organic GOTS, OEKO-TEX® and OCS certified cotton sent to us from Turkey  and produced in Cova da Moura from the first to the last stitch. The African fabrics are from different sources.

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