Tanzania: Kemi Kalikwe – Brain Behind Naledi Fashion Institute

One of the major keys to success is to keep moving forward passionately and determinedly, on the path of our dreams whether it be rocky or smooth knowing that it can’t get better, any other way.
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Kemi kalikawe always knew what path her destiny had carved for her, it was clear that she was cut out for something huge and unconventional. As a child, in Tanzania, Kemi had pictures of what she imagined would become her future. She had dreams of working in the design industry and totally revamping the system.

But for reasons, she may not readily tell, she found herself studying marketing in England. But the detour wasn’t for long before Kemi realized herself and took a turn in the direction of her dreams; she relocated to Kenya and began her study in interior design.

Interestingly, that small step in the right direction became the biggest step of her life.

From interior designing, Kemi progressed to fashion, forming Naledi Fashion House (Naledi meaning star in Setswana) in the heart of Tanzania, in February 2008; an establishment that has now grown to become an amazing behemoth and a one stop shop for all.

And like “Naledi”, Kemi became a sparkling point of attraction, drawing her inspiration from exceptional forms of design and creativity.

She delightfully expresses her passion, making the most out of the most ordinary fabrics,
But beyond creating exclusive designs and top class finishings, kemi is deeply passionate about mentoring and enabling the youth discover their calling and also helping young and upcoming designers become more effective in their careers – for her, that remains the best perk of her profession.

Naledi has played a pivotal role in growing Tanzania’s fashion industry and has worked with several organizations like British Council for 2 years in its program WaPI Arts festival, all the way, seeking and mentoring young talents.

It has also worked with Goethe Institute organizing the first Fashion Round Table Discussion, bringing together designers, retail business owners, fashion journalists/media and industry stakeholders like Basata, Cosota and local celebrities.

At some point, Naledi worked with Alliance Françise, organizing a unique fashion show, combining fashion, traditional drum music, dancing choreographed models and young acrobats and also with Tanzania House of Talent (THT) to open the first fashion school in Tanzania.

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