There came a time when I felt thirsty to develop something for human society. It took about three years pounding questions such as what it would be. What about the product’s sustainability for coming generations? What kind of impact will it have to people? Will it be acceptable and where would I begin?
I decided to go with a clothing label. I began with market research and the development of the idea. It was imperative to consider intellectual property rights, hence the decision to patent in 2014. With the main focus on design, through localized and globalized styles.
Ekkwaliza has already made its presence felt and is looking to venture internationally. I am intended to strive at growing Ekkwaliza clothing for both the youth and the elders. The main aim is to ensure that the brand is relevant in the fashion industry and will keep up for years to come.
Primarily, ekkwaliza came as a nickname prearranged by the late high school friend of mine. He decided the name because of my optimistic caliber. He claimed that words such as “can’t” and “impossible” do not exist in my world. The name became popular and I fell in love with it.
Ekkwaliza is basically a coinage of two words; one from English another from Sesotho language. Ekk means distressful and Waliza to take care of animals.
INSPIRATION BEHIND EKKWALIZA COINAGE
Ekkwaliza label is basically a combination of precious stones (mahakoe) which curved into a nickname.
Growing up as a head boy was a distressful experience, having two meals per day. One in the morning and another in the evening. During the day my counterparts sought out to fill their stomach with meat from wild animals.
For me the case was different, I used to marvel at precious stones day long with a hungry stomach. The experience was abnormal and straining. Although I was not a slave; I was not free. I found no value added but the pain, humiliation and heartbreak.
The precious (mahakoe) stones which are arranged over ekkwaliza are the ones that I always found on the grazing land during my days as a shepherd. Little did I know that from the wreckage of experience will emanate a clothing label. There would be the arrangement of precious stones and coinage of a name. I have been bitter and frustrated by hostile circumstances. Why didn’t it come to realization that in that dark cloud there was a silver lining?
From this personal experience, I got answers for some of these questions: Why would so many people let their problems swallow them? Why would they allow challenges of life cut them into pieces? Why are they failing to open their eyes enough to see the silver-lining within the dark clouds?
At times one has to change their perspective on things. See all the challenges that life brings differently.
This article is a submission made by Lerato Mokokoane. Lerato is the founder of Ekkwaliza and he is pursuing Sociology and Development studies at National University of Lesotho. Like Ekkwaliza on Facebook.