AFRIKAWALA Karen Nakamba is the owner of AFRIKAWALA film Costumes and accessory Brand, she is a fashion graduate from Sparkles Fashion Institute (Uganda) and Bluecrest School of Fashion and Design (Ghana). She is an award winner at the Zed360 (Designer of the year) and Lifetime achievement award at the Zambia fashion and model awards.
Karen comes from humble beginnings, she once worked at Bayport Financial Services (Nakonde branch) as a cleaner while engaging in other small businesses like selling of charcoal, vegetables among others. She’s had to work very hard in life to get to where she is.
She later joined the customs clearing and forwarding business in 2012 where she met people who were interested in her passion for fashion and was later sent to Uganda to pursue fashion and design in 2015.
Through hard work and determination Karen went on from being a designer Based in Nakonde to showcasing her work on international platforms such as Swahili Fashion Week (Tanzania), Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (Ghana), Africa Fashion Week (Nigeria), Accra Fashion Week (Ghana), Zambia Fashion Week (Zambia), Africa Finest Culture and Fashion Show (United Kingdom).
She has received numerous invitations from Paris, Italy, Dubai and many other places to take part in fashion weeks but due to financial constraints she could not manage to participate.
Karen has decided to rebrand herself and is currently perusing her passion in costume and accessory designing, she makes necklaces, bags and many other accessories.
Karen has always believed in giving back and bringing change in her community by holding fashion shows that support upcoming models and designers by publishing them in a community Magazine themed “Afrikawala” so that they can gain national and global publicity. She also helps the less privileged by providing her fashion skills such as teaching them how to make accessories such as earrings, bangles, necklaces etc.
Through the Charles Kapembwa Sipanje life skills initiative program that Karen is spear heading, she has taught over 400 people life skills and accessory designing in different communities in Zambia, such as the prisons and villages. Through her voluntary work she has sewn uniforms for people in the prisons. Karen has been invited to start teaching fashion and design at Luyanzi Institute of technology in Uganda.
Her vision is to facilitate the development of Modern African women entrepreneurs, reinforcing their competence capacities and stand on their own through the provision of hands-on service including tailoring, marketing, entrepreneurial skills, social and economic networking advocacy both nationally and globally.
In line with this she had opened a school for upcoming designers where she taught fashion and design. Her Best moment was when she featured on BBC world focus on Africa.
Your current situation in life shouldn’t determine or limit your future, keep holding on to your dreams and work hard towards achieving them. Think big and dream big!