Gisèla Van Houcke

Is the Founder and Managing Director of Zuri Luxury Ltd. Gisèla was born in Eastern DRC then she moved to the United Kingdom at a young age. Gisèla holds a First Class honours degree in British Law and another degree in French Law. Before Zuri, Gisèla worked for Skadden Arps, an American law firm in London then she moved to Kigali to take on the Head of Legal position at BBOXX Ltd, a British solar company.

The struggle

When Gisèla moved back to Africa in 2015, she struggled to find good companies that could offer top quality virgin hair extensions as well as hair products for her extensions and natural hair. After thorough research, She decided to start Zuri, which means “excellent” in her native language Swahili.

Humble beginnings 

Zuri started in 2015 as a mobile company. Products were advertised on Facebook and delivered to clients personally. In Kinshasa, the delivery was done by Gisèla ’s sisters Gracia and Bernadette who drove all around Kinshasa to reach clients. Gisèla’s vision was to build a global platform and brand, which would bring together leading hair and cosmetic products, expertise, technology and a community of passionate customers. This led her to partner with Nadege Muhindo to start Zuri Luxury Uganda in 2017 and is still driving her current and future expansion projects. 


In the press

Gisèla, mother of two, was listed on Forbes 30 Under 30 2018 for her work on Zuri where the company was described as "growing fast and claiming a share of Africa's big hair industry". Other globally recognized platforms such as BBC News Africa and CNBC Africa have also recognized her work.