Born in Rwanda, Fathia Uwase, 32, left for Ghana four years ago with fashion on her mind. There, she studied fashion for a year at the Joyce Ababio School of Creative design. After graduation, she established her own brand called Fathia’s Creations.
When she left her home country, the Rwandan fashion scene was still close to non-existent. She could not find the opportunities she needed and quality material to make her clothes. It was thus her love for beautiful aesthetics and fashion that made her travel abroad.
While in Ghana, she realised that the opportunities were plenty making it not so challenging to get involved in fashion. What was challenging for Uwase was to start her own business from scratch, like it would have been in any other field.
Even so, she successfully built her simple but classy brand with the help of four local tailors who make her colourful designs, and her creations are now sold in a shop in Ghana. By the end of this year, she also wants to have an online store that is up and running to ship her bright and stunning collections worldwide.
But it is not just about the rest of the world, it is a lot about Rwanda. On her occasional visits to the country, she brings some of her pieces with her that she usually sells to friends. Last year, she was able to organise a 3-days mini exhibition at UTC. Her biggest wish for the coming year is to open a shop in Kigali early 2016, probably in January or February, and get more exposure in Rwanda.
She also wants to take part in more fashion shows. During her last trip to Kigali, she took part in Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show 2015, which was a first for her in Rwanda.
This event was eye-opening for Uwase. The local fashion scene could not have surprised and amazed her in any better way. When she meets fellow Rwandan fashion designers today, she feels proud as they are now daring to engage themselves in the fashion business and create something new.
What she still wishes for the country however, is to see more quality material coming in at lower costs. Uwase realises that her collections are a lot more affordable than the ones made in Rwanda simply because she can take advantage of the fact that Ghana is home to beautiful and affordable African print fabrics.
And you know what?
Uwase is not only a talented fashion designer, she is also an exquisite chef. She runs a restaurant in Ghana where she serves mainly East African dishes that she often cooks herself. This lady certainly is full of creativity.