To me fashion is a form of self-expression and identity considering my East African heritage, my ancestors used fashion as a way to identify themselves as well as a form of self-expression. I do my best to honour this by adorning myself in the styles of my ancestors and the diverse tribes as inspiration. I love East African bead work and that always features in my outfits- I find it to be the common theme throughout Eastern Africa. However, when it comes to fabrics, my favourite one is the leso/khanga fabric of the Swahili. I love the prints and the msemo (saying) that’s always inscribed on them. This fabric was designed as a means of self-empowerment by Swahili ex-slave women.
As a fashion lover, using fashion design as a form liberation and empowerment is phenomenal to me so much so that my leso outfits inspire a sense of freedom. This particular one says Mungu ni Mweza Yote which translates to ‘With God all Things are Possible’- a reassuring message to me during this time. Through my @ownyourculture work, decolonizing for me is to re-educate ourselves and advocate for our own fashion systems based on our own history and not relying on Western standards to determine what’s fashionable.