KOKOBÉRNA: The Origin + Naming

"KOKOBÉRNA uncovers the vast, the magical, the unexplored of Africa's ancient kingdoms, cultures, and traditional beauty and wellness rituals. Under the tutelage of a 14th generation descendant, this is a story of lineage, superb craftsmanship, and unwavering commitment to meticulously handcraft luxurious organic products that transcend the sands of time leaving a deep-rooted sense of well-being and vitality."

- Belinda Kǒkóèkà Bassey Ephraim, Founder and CEO


Efik Aristocrats of Old Calabar Kingdom

An Efịk Bride During Her Traditional Rites of Marriage

Since ancient Egypt and throughout the ages, our ancestors, the traditional monarchs of Old Calabar Kingdom in West Africa, handcrafted divine beauty and wellness treatments for daughters of wealthy aristocratic families privileged to enjoy such luxuries during sacred rites of passage. Here, and for a period of time, the young women learnt the fine art of enhancing their beauty, nurturing their skin, and taking care of oneself. 

Rare, native, plant materials handpicked from across the savannahs, valleys, and rainforests of Africa were transported over vast lands in precious gourds and vessels. Crushed palm kernel, shea butter and resins of myrrh and sandalwood. Infused moringa and coconut oils. Plantain ash, cocoa, and camwood.

These native plant materials sourced from nature, from earth, in the form of flowers, leaves, seeds, bark, root, gums, resins, oils, and fats were meticulously prepared to create healing medicines, perfumes, and cosmetics. 

The finished products had an aura of rarity, of exclusiveness, and of the divine; to make the women attractive and alluring, to restore vitality and good health, and as a means of venerating the gods and their ancestors as they crossed over from adolescence into womanhood.

Blessed with this exquisite heritage that has withstood the test of time, a collection of over 400-year old catalogued family-owned ancestral beauty and wellness recipes, superb craftsmanship of our luxurious organic botanically-based products, and the meticulous process in which we age our formulas over a 30-day lunation, we welcome you to the KOKOBÉRNA tribe.

 The Best and Only Face Oil You Will Ever Need

 HEALER'S GOLD™ FACE OIL is a 409-year-old traditional remedy using sophisticated complex of 30 noble skin-transforming indigenous African plant oils.

KOKOBÉRNA: The Origin + Naming

In ancient Africa, and even in today’s modern African societies, when a child is born, its name is a reflection of its essence, its crown, what it is destined to do in life. For the African proverb states “A good name is better than riches.”

A child’s name is usually not ordained until sometime after birth where the personality is better determined and only during a naming ceremony where every member of the tribe comes bearing gifts and to partake of this sacred rite of passage offering prayers of long life and prosperity over the child and pay homage to the child’s ancestors. In some instances, names are chosen not by parents but by the elder men and women of the tribe because the meaning of the name is of significance considering the date and time of birth and the child’s lineage.

In the grandest of fashion, the child’s name is announced to the entire tribe with a detailed breakdown and explanation on the meaning of the name. The child is then raised high above the head and presented to the tribe and Olofi/Àbàsì/the Supreme Being. In all cases, members of the tribe spend the rest of the day offering symbolic gifts from nature such as the revered indigenous kola nut to the family as symbolism to prepare the child for its future. There is much dancing, feasting, and celebrating with joy; for the child is now allowed to share in the full privileges and duties of the tribe.

Kǒkóèkà – our founder's tribal name has a rich ancient history in the Efịk culture, one of many tribes and languages in Nigeria, and literally translates “mother’s daughter” and Bernadette - named after Saint Bernadette of Lourdes that was given during our founder’s coming of age rite of confirmation, literally translates “brave as a bear”. Therefore, KOKOBÉRNA literally translates “mother’s daughter – strong and brave one”.

It is our belief the origin of our name reflects the essence of our brand and its destiny; an ideal that mirrors the substance of the KOKOBÉRNA Woman – a contemporary woman who harnesses both her feminine and masculine qualities in how she effects change in her family, her tribe, the world.  

Similar to the complex, opulent origin of KOKOBÉRNA and its beautiful meaning that transcends the sands of time, our proprietary formulas and superb craftsmanship utilize a portfolio of ancient indigenous African botanicals, nocturnal flowers, and medicinal bush plants to create an exquisite collection of natural organic luxury skincare and premium herbal teas for wellness that promise a deep-rooted sense of well-being and vitality.

May you always be #kokobernabeautiful.



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