My name is Alliance kindja Bahati, I am the 7th born of 8 children. I am 20 years old and a follower of Jesus Christ. I am also the CEO and founder of Kindja collections. I’m originally from Congo, Bukavu and I was raised in Uganda, Kampala.
In 2001, my family and I left our home town Bakavuand and moved to Uganda because of the civil war that was happening there. Prior to everything changing for us, we lived a pretty comfortable life. My dad was a manager at a sugar factory that was extremely successful and my mom was a fashion designer so they managed to support all of us.
When we got to Uganda, we saw another reality that we were never used to before; shortage of food, no clothes, and us girls that got friendly visits once a month (period) had no sanitary pads to help us during those days, so we would go to the extremes of using old clothes that were eaten by rats and could no longer be worn as pads (we were hella creative).
I remember my whole family fasting one time and having nothing to break our fast with, I remember being chased out of school at the age of 10 years old and having to walk back home bare foot. I remember crying and praying to GOD every single day to help my dad get a job and GOD did! My dad became an administrative officer at a church and things started looking up and soon improved.
The more we prayed the more things got better for us.
In 2011, we passed our immigration interview to Canada and that was such a refreshing news to get. We hadn’t passed the first time because of some complications but I like to think that it was all GOD’s plan. Trials have made my family come so close to each other and most importantly closer to GOD.
After 10 years of being refugees in Uganda, we finally got the news that we were going to start a fresh life elsewhere. In December 2012 we arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, it was the beginning of “something new and better” for my family and I.
My parents went back to school so they could get decent jobs, my older siblings finished school and I graduated high school and got enrolled at University of Manitoba where I’m currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Social Work.
My mom used to sew clothes back home and she would later sell them. I grew up watching her love for fashion and the great customer service she offered to all her clients.
My mom really inspired me to be an entrepreneur and a fashion designer. She is the kind who doesn’t believe in “NO’s”, my mum was the kind of business woman who would go to a Prime Minister’s office with no appointment and convince him or her to buy her clothes (they always did and came back to buy some more).
My love for art and fashion has always been there. I remember when I was back home, I used to make little bracelets, necklaces and little crop tops for my peers at school and sell them, (that’s how I used to get some pocket money for things I needed).
Two years ago I took a sewing class and my love for fashion increased. The patterns, threads and the entire process was so beautiful! A teacher gave us a project to create our unique designs of patches and that’s how I came up with the “BAHATI JACKET” from my first Kindjacollections that I launched this year in March.
Everyone asks “how did you start?,” How did I know the right fabrics to use and I respond……“GOD!” I researched A LOT and God made a way so I could meet the right people to help me a long the way.
I saved up all the money I earned from my job so that I could order the fabrics for the collection. We live in such a capitalized country! Everything involves money BUT MOST importantly God gave me the DISCIPLINE to actually stay motivated throughout the trials.I know that my clothing line was meant to be here. I will use the platform I have to motivate my peers and everyone across the world to follow their dreams regardless of their circumstances.
After everything, I launched my clothing line and God knows how grateful I am for the support I got and still get from my family, friends and strangers that have become close to me through my fabrics. I get to do what I love and share my art with everyone. God’s grace upon my life and my family always leaves me speechless and all the glory belongs to HIM for that!