About Nmadili Okwumabua
Nmadili Okwumabua is a cultural designer, urbanist and educator in African architecture and community planning. Her passion for design is rooted in a vision where communities in Africa and the Diaspora are developed with new architectural languages that preserve heritage, and are culturally and environmentally sustainable. In 2005, she founded Southern Sahara USA, an international consultancy specializing in the research and development of this new architecture.
Okwumabua attended the University of Tennessee and Georgia State University, where she pursued undergraduate studies in architecture and urban studies. She holds a masters degree in African and African American studies from Clark Atlanta University, where her research centered on the evolution of modern vernacular architecture in Nigeria. In 2013, the fruits of these efforts gave birth to the Community Planning & Design Initiative, Africa, (CPDI Africa), a research-based, culture-inspired initiative created to develop new African architectural languages though design competition. Believing that the redevelopment of Africa’s built environment should be as it has always been, built as a collaborative effort between the community members and designated master builders, Okwumabua engages participation from the design community throughout the African Diaspora, for the accomplishment of the CPDI Africa vision.
Okwumabua’s work in African and black culture architecture has been studied worldwide, via her lectures as a lecturer and visiting professor, annual design workshops and the Art of African Architecture, a curated exhibition of winning designs from CPDI Africa bi annual design competitions. She has presented research papers in over sixty international conferences, universities and professional associations. Her work in African American & Diaspora studies builds upon Africanisms, cultural retentions rooted African design philosophies for preserving and developing black communities. In 2021 she launched the Global Studio for African Centered Architecture (CPDI Africa GSACA), an academy for teaching this new pedagogy in architecture. Practitioners and students are awarded certificates post completion of intense research and scholarship led by distinguished, tenured built environment professionals.
Okwumabua’s career as a built environment professional spans over 27 years, she is a licensed Realtor in the state of Georgia and Certified Property Manager with Broll CBRE South Africa. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and Abuja, Nigeria, where she offers international consultancy services in urban design, hospitality, and real estate asset management, passionately sharing her vision with the future shapers of African and global built environments.