Ingawa dhana ya “ubunifu wa mitindo” bado haijatapakaa sana nchini Tanzania,wapo wabunifu wa mitindo ambao kila kukicha wanazidi kuitambulisha sanaa hii kwa watanzania walio wengi kwa namna mbalimbali. Mmojawapo ya wabunifu hao wa mitindo ni Khadija Saad Mwanamboka. Akiwa na umri wa miaka 30 tu ameshajijengea jina miongoni mwa wabunifu wa mitindo nchini Tanzania.
Khadija akiwa na mtoto Hussein.Picha na Esther Mngodo.
Khadija haishii kwenye kutengeneza viwalo tu bali ni mmojawapo wa wale celebrities ambao wanaikumbuka jamii yao na hivyo kila mara kukuna vichwa ni jinsi gani wanaweza kusaidia kila inapowezekana. Hivi karibuni ameanzisha asasi isiyo ya kiserikali (NGO) inayoitwa TANZANIA MITINDO HOUSE. Asasi hiyo inalenga mambo makuu mawili; kwanza kuwasaidia wabunifu wa mitindo wenzake na pia wale chipukizi katika kutimiza ndoto zao za mahiri zaidi na hivyo kuzidi kuitangaza mitindo ya kutoka Tanzania duniani kote. Khadija anasema wapo watu wengi tu wanaotamani kuwa wabunifu wa mitindo lakini hawajui wafanyeje wala waanzie wapi. Anawakaribisha kuwasiliana naye.
Pili asasi hiyo inalenga katika kusaidia watoto yatima, walioathirika na ugonjwa wa Ukimwi na wale wasiojiweza aidha kutokana na umasikini au sababu nyinginezo. Kauli mbiu ya kampeni yake ameiita “Tanzanian Designs For Lives”.
Lakini Khadija mwenyewe ametokea wapi? Alianza vipi kazi zake za ubunifu wa mitindo? Ana ushauri gani kwa vijana wenzake? Ana ujumbe gani kwa watanzania kuhusiana na suala la mitindo ya kitanzania? Kwa hayo na mengi mengineyo BongoCelebrity tumefanya naye mahojiano yafuatayo;
BC: Khadija a lot of people are now familiar with your name and that you are a young but very talented fashion designer. However, there is a lot about your life that I’m sure a lot of people are not familiar with and they would like to know. Therefore can you tell us briefly about you? Where were you born, went to school and how you became a fashion designer?
KM: My name is Khadija Saad Mwanamboka. I was born 30 years ago. I went to Olympio Primary School for my primary school education before joining Shabaan Robert Secondary School for secondary education. I first started developing my interest in designing by designing my mom’s and my own clothes around 1994. In 1996 I had my first fashion show at Diamond Jubilee Hall where my designs were modeled by my friends. By then I was just showing my talent. I never thought that I was just starting to take fashion design as my career.
BC: You started designing at a very young age, since 1994, when you were just 18 years old. How did the idea of becoming a fashion designer come about? Did you take any formal training to become a fashion designer we know today?
KM: No, I do not have formal training in fashion designs. As I have mentioned above, I started designing due to the talent that I thought I have since my childhood and due to the my passion for fashion.
BC: Now that you have been in the fashion designing industry for over 10 years, what do you think is one most difficult but very necessary skill to acquire before embarking on a fashion designing career?
KM: In my opinion, I think you must first of all, “have it in you”. By saying that I mean you must have the talent, the eye and passion for fashion. The rest will follow with hard work, confidence and patience.
BC: How do you reflect on the styles of your designs for the past ten years? Have they changed? If yes how?
KM: Well, I have matured as a designer because for the past ten years, I have traveled more to different parts of the world and therefore have got a chance to see and feel different cultures which inspires my current designs. Therefore, there has been a change in terms of quality and styles of my designs.
BC: You have now done quite a lot of very successful shows. What has been the high point in your career, your moment of great pride?
KM: You are right, in the past 12 years of being a fashion designer; I have done a lot of designs and shows. However, I still treasure the design I did for Basila Mwanukuzi, which eventually enabled her to win the Miss Tanzania 1998 title. Actually, that is the night I decided to take fashion design as my lifelong career. It was a turning point in my career. I always thank Late Amina Mongi, Jimmy Kabwe, Basila and Ruge Mutahaba for giving me the opportunity.
BC: In most parts of the world, including Tanzania, fashion design or designer’s clothes are said to be very expensive and in most cases left only to the riches. Is this a myth or truth? And if it is a myth why do you think it exists?
KM: Designer clothes are expensive everywhere else but not in Tanzania. The industry is still very small; we can not charge high prices.
BC: What advice would you give for someone shopping, say mitumbani au dukani? What should they look for that marks good quality clothing in both style and tailoring?
KM: As a designer in Tanzania, it’s hard for me to advise anyone to buy mitumba. The reason is simple; I want people to wear Tanzanian made clothes so as to show our nationalism through fashion.
BC: There are many fashion designers now in Tanzania, so we can imagine the competition is a bit more than it used to be. Who do you consider to be your competition and how do you guys work together to make Tanzanians believe in home made designer’s clothes?
I feel great that now there are many designers. That means the industry will expand and develop more. I work with almost all of them. To me it’s more of a challenge than a competition. I am like their big sister now.
BC: If you could give any advice to young men and women out there who are pursuing a career like yours, what would it be?
KM: They need to believe in themselves. They must have faith in their talents, must be hard working, patient and above all they should always remember that nothing is impossible.
BC: If I was to ask your close friends about your “style”, what do you think they would say?
KM: Simple and elegant with a unique modern twist.
BC: We have noticed that some of the biggest stars in Tanzanian are dressed by you or put on your designs. Do they choose you or you choose them? And how important it is for you for someone to express your designing in general public?
KM: First of all I love music a lot and I befriend many artists something which makes it easy to work with them. Designing and music are two types of communication platforms that can be used to send message(s) to people in a very interesting and glamorous way. Therefore, it’s a two way traffic. Sometimes I choose them and sometimes they choose me. I love to see artists performing in my designs. Previously, I have dressed artists like Koffi Olomide and late Brenda Fassie during their tours in Tanzania.
Khadija akiwa na baadhi ya warembo na wanamitindo wa Tanzania.Picha na Raqey.
BC: Women are known to be fashion people than men. Do you agree? And we know that you do design for both. How close do you pay attention to men’s fashion and why?
KM: I don’t agree. There are a lot of men who love fashion and follow the fashion trends even more than women. Yes, I pay a lot of attention to men’s fashion because I also design men’s clothing.
BC: A lot, if not all, of our political leaders, business executives likes to wear suits, shirts, gowns etc made by foreign designers and imported. What message do you think they are sending to the people? Do you have any advice for them?
KM: Yes, they need to give us the opportunity to dress them. I believe fursa huleta mafanikio na maendeleo. They can really boost the fashion industry in Tanzania if they wear our designs more.
Mojawapo ya ubunifu wa Khadija Mwanamboka.
BC: Who are three worldwide fashion designers that you admire most and why?
KM: Armani for his quality and uniquiness, Dolce & Gabbana for their boldness and sexy designs and Calvin Klein for his simplicity and elegance.
BC: You’ve been participating in several beauty pageants as a judge or fashion designer. Many people would like to know, in judging what do the judges concentrate on mostly?
KM: Intelligence, personality and height.
BC: What’s the most amazing fashion show you’ve ever attended?
KM: Mustafa Hassanali’s Tigo Mama Africa fashion show.
BC: What’s your ultimate dream location for a fashion show? Where, how, when and why?
KM: In Mbudia Island next year.Inshalaah
Ubunifu wa Khadija Mwanamboka.
BC: As a designer, what do you think of the whole Internet phenomena, and do you feel it benefits you much?
KM: It’s very important, I learn a lot on the net.
BC: If you knew then (when you decided to go into fashion designing) what you know today, is there anything you would have done differently?
KM: I believe mistakes teach us. Therefore, I wouldn’t change a thing.
BC: Now let’s talk about the charitable/non governmental organization that you have recently established. Can you briefly tell us about it? What name have you given it, why?
KM: The name of the organization is Tanzania Mitindo House. I have called it that way to reflect its core activity. Mitindo is a Swahili word which simply means fashion. The aim of our organization is to promote Tanzanian fashion designers so that they can inflate their careers. However, helping the needy, orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS through organizing charitable events to benefit the people I have mentioned will be also one of our major activities. Therefore, from time to time we will be conducting fashion events whereby the proceeding goes into helping people in need especially children.
BC: What motivated or pushed you into establishing this kind of organization?
KM: I have always wanted to build a base for fashion and use our talents to better the lives of many Tanzanian children.
Khadija akiwa na watoto huko Mkuranga hivi karibuni Tanzania Mitindo House walipoenda kula chakula cha mchana na watoto hao na pia kupeleka misaada mbalimbali.
BC: If anyone wants to help or needs your assistance how can they do so or contact you?
KM: We are currently working on a website. Soon people will be able to access it, send their donations, share ideas etc. For now they can reach me using the email address vituvyakhadija at yahoo.com.
BC: What do you like doing when you are not designing clothes or judging beauty pageants?
KM: Listening to music, reading magazines and books, hanging out with friends in a good restaurant.
BC: Is there anything that we have not asked you and you’d like to bring up?
KM: No you have covered every angle. Thank you. May be I would just like to tell Tanzanians to support Tanzania Mitindo House.
BC: Thank you very much for your time Khadija. We wish you all the best.
KM: Thank you. God bless Tanzanians.