Tuesday

Meet Faith M Kabende, One of Africa's Top Fashion Designers.

In the last two decades, African has taken up center stage in the fashion industry and Zambia hasn't been left behind. We have Amaka Osakwe, of Maki Oh, the Nigerian fashion designer who recently dressed Michelle Obama. We have the likes of  Adama Paris from Senegal, Thula Sindi from South Africa, Taibo Bacar from Mozambique, Pooja Jeshang from Tanzania just to mention but a few. I like the way Fashion is changing the face of Africa. We now have Hollywood embracing African Fashion which is very exciting. I would simply say..,well DONE African Designers!!

Lets meet Faith M Kabende of Fay Designs, Zambia's own Pride and Joy!

I recently met up with Faith and I had a chat with her. What an amazing woman! Very collective, down to earth, humble..,my kind of woman! I honestly didn't expect she was gonna agree to meet with me deal to her busy life....and honestly, her fame. But I was amazed when she said yes and created sometime to have a chat with me. She is truly an amazing, my true African Super Woman. I wanted to know how her story, we sat down and she started telling me her story..,she calls it "My Super Story."

"My super Story," Faith..

Faith Mulenga Kabende, like many stories of designers we have heard before, has never studied fashion and design in her life! She discovered her passion for fashion when she was about 12 years old she tells me. By the time she was 15 years, she had already started making her own clothes that she would were at school on civilian day, she recalls with a laughter. She goes on to say, "I remember how my friends used to look forward to see what kind of an outfit I was going to pull off on civilian day at school. I would normally wear maybe a tie and a waistcoat, just something crazy. And back then, it wasn't something very common to wear clothes like that. With the help of my mother, I would sketch and she would hand-sew the clothes for me." She recalls with a warm smile on her face.

The Birth Of Fay Designs
The name Fay was derived from her name "Faith". Before going into fashion and designing full time, Faith used to work for Zambia Telecommunication (Zamtel). She used to design part time while working but she got so over whelmed with her clients mostly friends and friends of friends who liked her outfits. At the age of 27, she decided to quite her job and went into fashion full time. People thought it was a crazy idea to stop work and follow her passion. She says, it was the best thing to do and she has no regrates.

She showcased her work at the Zambian Fashion week for the first time about seven years ago. But her international recognition came about when she was invited to showcase her collection in South Africa at the launch of a Modeling Agency. Since then, she has showcased her designs in Malaysia when she went to attend a training in Entrepreneurship.

Friday

THE HIDDEN TALENT OF Princess Miselo Kaarde..

One of her own designs. Amazing creation.
About ten years ago, I met a wonderful girl (now a very beautiful lady). Her name is Princess Miselo Bwale Kaarde. A Zambian lady, married and living in Denmark. We met at a modelling agency called; International Agency for African Models (IAAM). This Agency was one of the few modelling agencies in Zambia if not the only one back then. It belonged to a Canadian gentleman by the name of Eric. She was and still is one of the sweetest person I know. Just her smile used to light up the room every time she comes in. And there was just something so unique about her that drove me close to her. She was a very happy person and always carried herself with so much confidence. Lots of the girls envied her because she was the kind of person who got along with everyone and she treated everyone the same. I was happy to be in her "friends circle". About two years ago, we both discovered that we were cousins. That was an amazing discovery! And we have become even more close than before. Imagine the combination of friendship and cousin...its a BOMB! LOL! In Denmark, her home is my home and her family is my family. DESTINED to be together! God bless her.

This is one of my favorite dresses she has ever made! 
I have known that she has had the passion for modelling. You cant blame her, she has the height, the body, the beauty and off course the brains. She persuaded her career as a model and in 2011 she participated in the Zambian Top Model were she came out one of the top three finalist! out of hundreds of girls who took part. I remember, I was in the United Kingdom at that time when she called me telling me the good news...,I screamed!!! I was so proud of her and so happy that tears rolled down my cheeks.

Trading At Kasumba-Lesa..; My Experience

Hi everyone. Its been a few weeks since my last post and I would like to apologize to my readers for that. Well, I am back now and today am gonna share with you a very interesting topic.

Well, for the past one year and some months, I have been living in two countries. I have been living both in Zambia (my home) and in Denmark. I would like to say that I am a "Nomad". and I somehow like it ;-) . 

THE GOAT BUSINESS

Sometime last year, I think that was in June/July, I visited home and I had a few cash on me. I wanted to double my cash, so I decided to find a quick business to do since I was going to be home for three months. I did my research but apparently I didn't do it thoroughly. One day, a friend of mine came by and suggested that we put our monies together and go into the villages to buy live goats so that we can take them to Kasumbalesa (It's a town that boarders Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo). I was told that, when we go in the nearby villages especially in the southern part of Zambia, we will be able to buy one goats for about K100.00 (about US$13) each and we will be able to sell them in Kasumbalesa for upto k600.00 (US$90). Oh yes!!! you heard me right hehehehe! I wanted to buy 20 goats and I didn't even hesitate. The following day, my friend and I went to look for goats in the villages. We went to Choma (Southern Zambia). I remember we got there a bit late in the evenings and we had to sleep on the veranda at one of the shops.. We didn't want to book ourselves into a lodge because we didn't want to spend anymore of our capital money. We already saw ourselves as millioniers and we were ready to sacrifice.

We never even slept that night, the floor was so hard plus it was very cold (that was during the Zambian winter). We ended up joining some call-boys who had made a very big fire and that fire went on through out the night. They were very nice boys and harmless. They welcomed us and we started roasting and eatin some sweet potatoes. It was a great evening and the boys kept telling us about their lives and listened to some juicy stories about there gilfriends and wives. The following day, we took off around 5am into the villages, and guess what? There were no goats anywhere near..., we walked for maybe about 10km or more deep inside the villages and we came across this small village where we were told to wait till the following morning because it was late and we were tired and hungry. There was this man, who was a friend of the village headman who welcomed us with his wife and family. They were really nice people, (i need to go and visit them some day). We were given some food, and a warm place to spend a night. In the morning, we were taken to the headman for an introduction (you dont do busines in the village without an introduction to the chief or the headman). After the introduction, we were directed where to go and look for goats.

Anyway, we never found any goats in that village, so was in the next and the next and the next village. We spent one week trying to find these goats so that we can be millioniers! There were no goats!!! We managed to find one though and it was going for about us$20 and we also ended up buying live pigs that weigh about 200kgs each. Bought five pigs for about US$50 each. We never went to kasumbalesa because we ran out of cash and the we ended up selling them in Lusaka at a place called "pa Kabesha" in Chibolya compound (you can sell anything at this place). We sold them at the same price we bought them at.

The following week, we tried in some villages in Kaoma, Mazabuka and Siavonga. Believe me, there were no goats! When we were in Siavonga, we even tried to buy bags of dry kapenta (very small dried fish).

THE DRY FISH BUSINESS

That's me, selling dry fish at Kasumbalesa
Then two weeks later, another friend encouraged me to try dry fish. I was told to buy some dried fish from Lusaka (the capital City of Zambia) and take them to Kasumbalesa. (appearently, Kasumbalesa is extremyly good for business. Because of the conflict that has been going on in Congo for many years, there is a shortage of so many commodities). People from Congo can only buy commodities from the nearby countries. And Kasumbalesa is one of the boarders that offer different types of business opportunities both for the Zambian people and the Congolese people.

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