I sighed. Not once or twice but thrice.
“Wow!” I exclaimed.
She was looking like sunrise. Not just any sunrise but ocean sunrise. Her beautiful body - complete with her light chocolate complexion and flowing curves - was the ocean while the African Queen Top that she was wearing was the sun. That top was three weeks old. It had been conceived in the Green Cottage (my Nairobi House) and then born in Kigali, Rwanda. Its conception was just like human conception - intimate and sweet. On the night that it was conceived, Sunrise and I dined just before sunset. She ate isombe, a Rwandan dish that she adores while I ate some special beef that she had prepared in her usual creative manner. It was crunchy. Just as I loved it. The rice accompanying it had sprinklings of sukuma wiki, again, just as I loved it. Sunrise knew every contour of my culinary taste and navigated those contours deftly.
After dinner, one thing led to another. It started when she saw a dazzling kitenge top on TV5, a French channel that we watched regularly. A middle-aged African lady was wearing that top during an interview.
“C'est tellement mignon!” She gave a small shout. French and Kinyarwanda were her first languages. English was a distant second. So she usually exclaimed, counted and dreamt in French.
“C'est tellement mignon!” (It’s so cute) She exclaimed again. She was referring to the kitenge top. This triggered a discussion between us about kitenge tops. I showed her Sasafrica.Shop’s previous kitenge top designs.
“Why haven’t I ever seen this before?!” she asked with a pout.
Good question. If I hadn’t shown her Sasafrica.Shop’s kitenge designs, how on earth was I going to show them to the world?!
I really needed to step up our marketing, I thought as my mind began racing on how else we could come up with world class designs for women’s kitenge tops. We bounced around ideas and ended up with a decision that Sunrise would go to her home country of Rwanda, identify a designer then zero in on some design ideas not just for kitenge tops, but also kitenge robes and dresses.
Why Rwanda when Kenya was overflowing with good designers, including our own inhouse designer? Because Sasafrica.Shop seeks to showcase, publicize and sell African products, not just Kenyan products. We are ‘Africa’s online marketplace for African products.’ So we were going to seize this chance to start building a network of talented designers in Rwanda.
Exactly three months later, the Africa Queen Top was born in a small stall in downtown Kigali. This Top will bring out the Queen in you. Made in Rwanda using long-lasting kitenge from Benin, this royal, dazzling Top will make a fashion statement not just to the world but also to your heart. This Top can be worn with a short skirt, pair of jeans or any smart casual attire. This makes it a versatile and dazzling piece of attire that belongs in your wardrobe - and on your body.