The Mazuri Designs Team
Our Ugandan Seamstresses
Annet Kyokutamba is a Senior Seamstress with Mazuri Designs. She is 27 years old and a guardian to her two brothers. Annet brings 8 years of fashion design and sewing experience. She received a certificate in tailoring from Nyakibale Ladies Vocational Institute. She joined Mazuri in 2016 and enjoys her work.
"I joined Mazuri Designs in 2016 and it offered me a job that has helped me pay for my own personal sewing machine. I am also able to look after two of my brothers and pay for their school fees. There is spirit of teamwork at Mazuri. It has exposed me to different and diverse people. I have also become a role model to the women and girls in my community. I love sharing my knowledge with others. It is the best feeling ever!"
Miriam Kabayo joined our team in August 2016 as one of our first trainees in the Sewing Our Futures training program. Miriam is a mother of five children, one girl and four boys. When Miriam finished secondary five in school, she started working at a church as a receptionist, caterer and accountant for five years. Miriam has also worked at a grocery store and a shop selling furniture and appliances.
"I joined Mazuri in 2016 after I was trained and I gained more skills. I have learnt how to work with others assertively. I can now help others learn what I learnt. I have been able to influence other young girls and women's lives through sharing with them the knowledge of tailoring that I attained from Mazuri. Working for Mazuri has also enabled me to take care of my children and support my family. Our lives have changed for the better thanks to Mazuri."
Annah Kanowomugisha is a seamstress at Mazuri Designs. She comes from Mbarara and is a guardian of two children. Anna has a 5 years of experience in tailoring and has worked with different fashion designers in Uganda. She received a certificate in tailoring from Ruhanro Vocational Training School in Mbarara. She joined the Mazuri Designs team in 2019.
“I joined Mazuri this year and so far, it is such an amazing experience. I have learnt some new styles that I did not know previously, and I have learnt how to relate with different people. Thanks to Mazuri, I can now sustain myself, my parents and the two children that I take care of.”
Innocent Komugisha is a dynamic seamstress who has over 18 years of tailoring experience with various designers and brands in Uganda. She was born in Rukungiri District and is the guardian of one child. She holds a certificate in tailoring from St. Kizito Institute Bugolobi.
"I joined Mazuri Designs in 2015 and it has been an amazing opportunity for me as I have been able to provide for myself, my family and relatives from the salary that I get. When I joined Mazuri, I had just lost my guardian and had no job, and so I could not afford to pay for my own rent. With the salary from Mazuri, I can now pay for my own housing and take care of my family. Through working for Mazuri, I have saved enough money and bought myself a sewing machine. Thanks to Mazuri Designs, I now have a better life."
Susan Nantale is 22 years old and grew up in Luwero district as an orphan with her elder sister taking care of her. In 2015, after learning of Girl Up Initiative Uganda she joined its first cohort of Sewing Our Futures trainees where she learned how to make all types of clothes and jewelry out of African fabrics. She graduated after a year and because she had done exceptionally well, Susan was employed at Mazuri Designs in 2016. Susan says that since joining Mazuri her life has drastically changed, she feels a sense of belonging, can freely interact with her peers, and is becoming a professional tailor.
"I am grateful to Mazuri Designs because before I started working, I could not afford to buy myself clothes or food. The job has helped me a lot in terms of making a better living. Now, I am also able to support my family and guardians back at home in Luwero with paying bills and other basic needs. Being a part of the Mazuri team has helped me gain skills that make me confident and assertive as I am now able to maintain myself.
Through tailoring clothes and making jewelry that people admire, I have inspired many women and girls. I train some of the girls at Mazuri and in my village to make clothes and jewelry in order to earn a living and sustain themselves and their families. It has shaped all of us into better and hard-working young women.
I am a product of Mazuri Designs."
Jacqueline Akedi was one of the trainees in the Sewing Our Futures training program in 2017. Jacqueline is a mother of four children, two girls and two boys. Before enrolling for the six months training, she had a small retail shop where she sold household items, snacks, and some groceries. After the training, Jacqueline started apprenticing at Mazuri Designs and later on joined the team as a full-time seamstress in 2019.
“Life has changed ever since I joined Mazuri. I have more skills in tailoring and learnt how to engage with different customers. It also feels so good to teach other students what I learnt from Mazuri. My business has also grown hugely and is doing so well. Now, I am able to cater for my personal needs as well as those of my family.”
We currently have 15 young women enrolled in our Sewing Our Futures seamstress training program. Upon completion, and depending on the demand for Mazuri's services, we strive to provide employment opportunities for graduates so they may put their new skills to work, continue to build upon what they've learned, and be able to economically support themselves and their families. By teaching them practical skills, Mazuri provides hope through design - allowing women to make an income through sewing, tailoring, and fashion design.