Many young people have fallen into the pit of drug abuse, and in doing so, ruined their lives and shattered dreams. Some eventually seek help and counselling, and in healing, have been able to put their capacity to use. In 2011, tailor and aspiring fashion designer, Clement Ndagijimana, became the subject of drug abuse, pulled into the vice by bad peer influence. He was raised in what he refers to as an impoverished neighbourhood in Nyarugenge District, where many children were not given proper care and attention, leaving them in the hands of drugs. Most of his mates were eventually imprisoned, but he survived and in 2019, Ndagijimana decided he was tired of a dangerous and miserable life. He wanted fresh air, and a future that only a reformed person could ensure. Ndagijimana wearing one of his designs. Ndagijimana thought about changing the world—he wanted to find ways to motivate the youth to not waste their lives, but discover their talents and use them. “I can’t say that anybody stopped me from using drugs, I had a battle inside my mind, I looked around and there was nothing I liked about myself. “I had caused so much pain to my parents and they still tried to provide everything but I didn’t value it. I wasn’t also serious with my studies yet my parents toiled to pay my school fees. I made a decision to stop the habit. I would say that maybe God came through for me and offered me a second chance. I wanted to see my parents happy and contribute to the development of my family,” he says. He started tailoring in 2015 but wasn’t serious about it. After his phase with drugs, he was ready to focus on fashion full-time as it is something he wanted to do. Seeing her mother sewing at a young age, inspired him to pursue it someday. Since he was just getting started, he didn’t have the capital to buy a sewing machine, but his mother offered to buy him one. Though he knew the basics of tailoring, he wanted to gain more skills and signed up for online courses. He now owns a tailoring business where he partners with different local fashion designers. He makes all kinds of clothes, especially in kitenge, bags, wedding attire, casual clothes, and so forth. Finding his way through a business that had many competitors wasn’t easy for him, because it was hard to gain trust. Many people judged him because of his past. But with time, he was able to prove that he was actually talented and could be trusted. He says that some of the things that kept his clients loyal is delivering on time, keeping his word, being creative, and most of all, respecting clients. In the event of any glitch, he ensures he communicates and apologises for the inconvenience caused, and sets out to do better. This has strengthened the bond with his customers. “Tailors have an issue of lying to customers, a thing that I believe diminishes trust. It’s better to tell them the truth than for them to appear expecting me to deliver, yet I haven’t started on their orders,” Ndagijimana says. He looks forward to expanding beyond Rwanda and producing more unique clothes. Through his earnings, the tailor is able to pay fees for two siblings. Being a senior five dropout, he also wants to continue with his studies in the future. Looking at his changed behaviour, Ndagijimana calls upon the youth to only give value to the things that will help them be better and realise their dreams. And, to choose friends who will keep them on the right track and not lead them astray.