We would like to introduce you to “Our Collective”. A group of individuals that we've teamed up with who are part of the collective closets family. We affectionately refer to them the as “our tribe”, our “Kabila”.

We are very proud of being part of this tribe and enjoy beautiful and positive relationships with everyone involved in bringing together Collective Closets and we wanted you to get to know not just us but the other beautiful people behind the Kabila collection.

Refiloe

Name :
Refiloe

Where do you live?

Footscray, Melbourne

What do you do?

I’m a Graphic Designer by day and the jewellery designer behind Ovazania by night.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by innovators, movers and shakers and people who go against the status-quo to create to have positive effect on the world through innovation, design, style, fashion, music, art, and other creative mediums.

What is your life philosophy?

Keep Evolving.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I see myself running my company Ovazania, and having it emerge into fully fledged brand. I also have other entrepreneurial ventures that I would love to see come to fruition. I am a dreamer but I believe that we are multifaceted beings, and that it’s possible to apply yourself to anything that you are truly driven by and passionate about.

What life lesson would you like to share?
Don’t take yourself too seriously; I used to have a very rigid way of thinking and I feel like that stifled my creativity, it helped me immensely to be more fluid & flexible in my thinking. I have also learnt that things always workout.

What does HARMONY mean to you?
Balance. Everything functioning and coexisting in sync as one.

How do you bring HARMONY into your life?
Self-care is key to bringing harmony into my life, it’s paramount for me to be in a healthy mental & spiritual state before putting myself out there. There is of course always room for improvement, especially when business and work become a bit hectic. When I can, I do indulge in the things that I love; solo time, a good TV series, good music, good food, good wine, prayer, meditation, journaling, exercise and nothing beats a glorious nap on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon, it’s the best way for me to relax and re-align.

Wairimu

Name: Wairimu

Where do you live?
Jamuhuri Estate, Nairobi
What do you do?
Fashion Designer
How did you get this industry?
My training at the University of Nairobi laid the foundation for my strong love for textile design.
What inspires you?
Hearing success stories. This gives me the resolve to keep pressing towards the mark. Also success building up to greater things. From an artistic point of view, I love nature and earthy colors. Also intricate things inspire me because I want to know how they came into being...like the life you see when you go scuba diving. That's beyond amazing!
What is your life philosophy?
Never give up!
 
What life lesson would you like to share?
There is always some good in every situation.

Mama Bronic

Name: Mama Bronic

How long have you been working alongside Wairimu?
I started working at the shop in 2006.  WOW, its been 9 years.
Working as a seamstress is my pride and joy. I love when a customer is satisfied by my work. I also  love it when I work on a challenging design successfully because this is what I trained for.

Mama Baby

Name: Mama Baby
Where do is your shop? Kariokor Market in down town Nairobi

Tell us about these beautiful bags you make?

The bags are made from sisal fibre which comes natural or dyed. Some of the designs are passed down from older generations while others are based more on modern trends.

Niama Wessely

Name : Niama
Where do you live?
Brunswick, Melbourne
What do you do?
Graphic Design
How did you get this industry?
I had no idea what career path I wanted to take and spent my late teens and early twenties working in bars and traveling. I was drawn to graphic design but literally had no computer skills, luckily I was accepted into RMIT university on my handmade folio and quickly realized this was the job for me! After graduating I freelanced for a while until I got ripped off so many times and landed myself a real job.
What inspires you?
Light. Beautiful things are created by light.
What is your life philosophy?
Hmmmm. If only I had one
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I'm not really sure. I like to keep my options open. I hope that I will have taught myself to garden. It's my future hobby.
What life lesson would you like to share?
Try to make decisions for yourself that you are proud of. Be nice to people, they deserve it.

Aggrey

Name: Aggrey
Where do you live? I live in Kasarani, Nairobi
What do you do?

I work as a Program Coordinator in charge of the Program Against Child Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Kenya

How did you get this industry?

I found myself designing interventions that are aimed at protecting children against abuses and neglect way back from the days I was in high school. I therefore took the same career path in my adulthood.

What inspires you?

I was born in the third largest slum in Kenya known as Korogocho. As I grew up, I saw how children got abused and neglected due to various reasons. I therefore grew up with the dream of one day playing a role in protecting children from abuses and neglect.

What is your life philosophy?

Protecting children is protecting the nation since they are the generation that will sustain the Kenyan nation when we are long gone.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I see myself managing multi sectoral child protection programs across various nation.

What life lesson would you like to share?

As someone who grew up in the slums where child related abuses are rampant, am a strong believer that children, once again an opportunity to get quality education, and are provided by the necessary support that protects them from abuses, can become productive citizens that will protect Kenya’s future generation.

Any stories/statements you would like to share from your experience/s in working with the Child Trafficking program with Missions of Hope?

Child trafficking manifests itself in various forms within the country and requires concerted efforts from various stakeholders such as Mission of Hope that has been working with ANPPCAN to identify victims of child trafficking. The victims are then admitted back to school, depending on the level of schooling they were prior to being trafficked. Partnership with more individuals, no matter how small it is will go a long way in sustaining these children in school so that they don’t get re-trafficked.

 

Wambui

Name: Wambui

Where do you live?
Nairobi
What do you do?

I am the deputy Regional Director and Director of Programs at ANPPCAN Regional office

How did you get this industry?

After working for many years with the Government of Kenya as an administrator I felt the need to work closer with the people, especially children.

What inspires you?

The capacity of human beings, especially children to overcome difficulties and prosper. Also the fact that when I am gone it will not matter what car I drove or what was in my bank account, but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.

What is your life philosophy?

That the cup is always half full not half empty.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Retreating from the front line and cheering on others to continue improving the lives of children in Africa.
What life lesson would you like to share?

That life is a journey with many pit falls and high moments, never agree to stay in the pit. You can never completely avoid the pit falls but once fallen stand up dust yourself and continue the search for the high moments.

Any stories/statements you would like to share from your experience/s in working with the Child Trafficking program with Missions of Hope?                                   

Child trafficking is unacceptable under any circumstances because it is exploitative and exploitation of children is evil, hideous and unbearable to the human heart. And yet child trafficking continues to grow across continents and countries and within borders. In Kenya children are trafficked within the country for domestic work, agriculture and worst of all for sexual exploitation. In Nairobi where ANPPCAN is implementing a project to counter child trafficking many children are found working in homes, bars and restaurants and many are sexually exploited. Keeping children in school is one way of preventing them from getting into exploitative situations and that is what the project is doing with Missions of Hope and other schools in the project area. The faces of the children in the schools gives one a reason to go on.