A passion for fashion
27 March 2019 | Art and Entertainment
Angolan-born Bejamisoloka Toze says the sky is the limit when it comes to his career as a fashion designer.
Toze works from his home in Kehemu. He is the owner of TBS Fashion and Design, which currently employs two people.
Toze studied at the Berg Aukas training centre, where he attained a certificate in fashion and design in 2015. Asked why he chose fashion design as a career, Toze said he was following in his father's footsteps.
“I grew up in a house where my father and grandfather were both fashion designers, so really I am just carrying on the tradition,” Toze said. “I would assist them here and there, but at the time I was not as serious as I am now. I am now focused and determined to succeed. Everything about me now is fashion design. I eat, sleep and think only of fashion design.”
Toze also does embroidery, makes seat covers for cars and lounge suites, and offers fashion design classes for beginners.
He says his business is doing well, as his customers keep coming back for more. “I am always busy because the people in the community trust my work and they keep coming back for my services. I hardly sleep at night and my days are full because of this job,” he says. Toze says when he started his business people would mock him, saying fashion design is a career for women.
“At the beginning it was not easy. People would question me, asking why I was doing this, and I kept reminding them, there is no such thing as a profession for women or men. It is all about the passion one has for something,” he says.
He says the same people who used to criticise him are now his customers. Asked what the highlight of his career has been so far, Toze recalled an order for wedding outfits for about 70 people. “My best moment was when one of my customers asked me to create an outfit for them and upon delivery just a few days later, this client got me a couple who requested me to do the outfits for their entire wedding. At the wedding I was publicly acknowledged, which was a great experience for me,” he said. Toze markets his products via social media platforms. He encourages unemployed young people to start their own businesses, saying it is not the government's responsibility to employ them. “It's all about passion, because if you are passionate about something then you should go for it. Then the chance of succeeding is very high,” he says.