Besides being known for carrying the emblem of Girls in ICT in Rwanda, Akaliza Keza Gara is the Founder and CEO of Shaking Sun. She speaks to Society’s Doreen Umutesi about her fashion sense.
How would you describe your dress sense?
I’m still developing my dress sense! I have this whole (amazing) look in mind but it involves longer locs and at least one more earring! Give me a few years and then you’ll see! Until I’ve sorted that out, I tend to dress quite casually and comfortably - jeans, t-shirt and flat shoes is my standard look.
What’s your favourite clothing item?
This might totally contradict what I just said about my dress sense but I love wearing African print dresses. I’m not really sure what my favourite dress is - I have a number of them! An aunt of mine sells dresses from Ghana so occasionally I get a beautiful gift from her.
Sadly, I don’t wear them as often as I’d like because they are quite formal. What I wish I could do is tailor some outfits that allow me to incorporate African print into my every day look. At the moment though, I only wear them to parties or formal events.
Where do you shop for clothes?
I very, very rarely go shopping for clothes. I can go for a whole year without buying anything new. When I have some extra cash, I prefer to spend it on gadgets! A lot of my clothes (at least the pretty ones) are gifts from my exasperated relatives who get tired of my tomboy look.
What do you consider when shopping for clothes?
Like I said, I don’t really shop for clothes. Occasionally I will buy a t-shirt with something funny written on the front. Unfortunately, these are usually only found in the men’s section (especially at Mr. Price here in Kigali), so I’ll try to and make it a bit more feminine by wearing it with skinny jeans and big earrings.
What is your favourite fashion accessory?
I love earrings - especially big earrings. I even keep a set of “back up earrings” in the boot of my scooter in case I leave the house in a rush and forget to put any on.
What is your favourite clothing item on a guy?
If a guy is wearing glasses that usually gets my attention, although it’s kind of a turn off if I find out he’s just wearing them as a fashion item and doesn’t actually need them. I know that’s not fair but what can I say?
What’s your favourite scent?
Hahaha! Oh, wow, I have no idea! The perfume I have was a gift from my mom. I don’t even know what it is... I just spray it on and hope the right people take notice!
Any fashion advice?
Fashion is a form of self expression. It tells the world what you think of yourself - and sometimes what you think of the world. Have fun with it!