I’m not good at making decisions. Actually I probably might be the most indecisive person in the world. But something was different when at the beginning of this year we received the most important brief I will ever get in Fashion school… our graduate collection brief. To put things in context: we slave away at sewing and pattern making and other fashion school activities for two years, under careful supervision and guidance, and then in 3rd year we are expected to be fully grown birds and flap our wings. The graduate collection is basically an indication of just how high you can fly, and whether you soar or crash is up to you, since you have full artistic control over the concept, garment construction and styling of your final collection. So here I was, having to decide what I was going to showcase as my mark. What part of me was I going to let shine through in my creations? And suddenly, to my surprise, my usually very loud and indecisive mind was quiet, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to tell a story, of not only my heritage and culture but of a history that everyone could relate to. I named it TIMBAGASI. Timbagasi is a term I wish I was familiar with my whole life, it originates from my father’s people, a lineage of Royals and Warriors in the west of Tanzania. Timbas were the male head’s of the society and Timbagasis were their female equivalents. My aunt had started calling me Timbagasi a few months before because she said I should never accept defeat, no matter what life throws me. No one should. I wanted Timbagasi to be a marriage between my culture and a mindset that everyone should have, the mindset of a modern warrior facing all of life’s challenges with the spirit of a winner, a king. Going through the phases of developing a collection I started with calico (pure cotton) mock up’s and once I was happy with the silhouettes, carried on to create the final garments with a colour palette of dark greens, rich burgundy and of course regal gold. Now only two weeks away from the final fashion show I can only hope that my message comes through as my clothes walk the runway, and everyone who pays witness experiences a little bit of Timba magic.