Profiles & Interviews
Meet Bakari Sibanda, Founder & Creative Director of #byBAKARI.
#ByBakari has become a recognizable name in the Zimbabwean fashion industry and Simphie got to speak to the founder, Bakari Sibanda. Find out more about the man behind the colourful, vibrant brand that is #ByBakari.
Give us a mini biography about yourself
My name is Bakari Sibanda, the founder and creative director of the brand #byBAKARI. I was born and bred in Bulawayo but now I’m based in Harare.
What were your major achievements in the past year?
Despite the Covid-19 situation in the country, I’ve managed to keep my business afloat. I consider this an achievement as some businesses were unfortunately affected by the lockdown and had to close. I’m very grateful to my clients who came through to support in this time filled with uncertainty
What goals do you expect to accomplish during this next year?
Definitely expanding the business to places that it hasn’t reached. My dream and goal is for #byBAKARI to be a global brand and that’s what I want to work on. All this will be determined by the whole lockdown situation and we can only wish for the best.
01/02/21 We are excited to announce the launch of our online store. Unfortunately for now we can only cater for within Zimbabwe because of technical issues. Again, THANK YOU TO ALL FOR THE SUPPORT. Please give us all the feedback you can to make it betterhttps://t.co/90oxc0NrT2 pic.twitter.com/zfmOPlxIrO
— #ByBakari™ (@by_BAKARI) February 1, 2021
What has inspired you to do the art that you do? has fashion always been the dream ?
Fashion has always been my passion and dream. I’ve always known that it’s what I want to do even though it took me time to know which part of the industry I want to be part of. As a result I’m quite versed in the different fields of the fashion industry and that’s why I prefer to be called a fashion entrepreneur.
What are your hobbies??
Reading fashion magazines. Listening to music and fashion styling
How can the people of Bulawayo show their support?
I’ve received so much support from the people of Bulawayo and I’m so ever grateful for it. As much as I moved from the city, I’m still emotionally based there. Those who know me personally will tell you. The continued support that Bulawayo still gives me is all I’d ever ask for.
How did all of this start?
Well designing started a long time ago. I remember I used to design my own outfits and they’d turn heads at functions. In 2018 I realized that the African print was slowly losing it’s touch especially with our generation I guess it’s because of the way it was being executed. So I decided why not bring it back in a way that relates to the younger generation and get rid of the perspective that it’s for older generation. That’s when #byBAKARI was started!
Tell us, who is your biggest support system?
My family and closest friends. My sisters are literally my brand ambassadors ☺️
What’s the worst outfit you’ve ever seen?
Gosh I’ve seen quite a number and it’s always about the context. I’ve seen someone wearing denim on denim at a red carpet event. I cringed. I’ve seen a plus size lady wearing a jumpsuit that didn’t compliment her figure. I almost died😭
Who is your Role model and why?
David Tlale. His story has always inspired me and I’m very fortunate to have heard it from him directly. I’ve always felt like a relate a lot to him as that has kept me going.
How would you react if you woke up and found yourself on the front page of the paper?
I’m really not sure. I think I’d be too excited to even show it to the world. At the same time I guess it’s what #byBAKARI needs right now so I’d look at it from a business owner’s view.
Give us some words of encouragement
Dreams only come true when you wake up and work for them, I’m speaking from experience. All you see now is what I dreamt of and I plan to keep working towards it.
Any fashion tips?
My favorite part😂😂. Always avoid print on print especially if they’re different. We can forgive you if they’re matching and not loud.
If you’re not sure of what to wear, just wear all black. You can never go wrong.
Last but not least, please learn your body and dress for it.
Favorite song currently?
Nobody has to know – Kranium ft Ty Dollar Sign…. it’s an old song but just heard it recently😊
Connect with Bakari on his socials: