kawira mirero

How Kenyan designer stitched a fashion line fit for financiers

Fashion

How Kenyan designer stitched a fashion line fit for financiers


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A model wearing Mambo Pambo clothes, a retail shop at Nairobi’s Two Rivers Mall. FILE PHOTO
| POOL

The foundation for her business might have been laid when she was 17. She did a mural for a nursery school in Mombasa which earned her Sh4,500. It was an affirming exercise to her that her future was in arts, design, and people.

Then while at The Alliance Girls High School, a teacher took Kawira Mirero and her classmates to visit The University of Nairobi where they interacted with students and tutors of design which is what she majored in while at the same university later.

You can say she was well-prepped to start her business. But no, there was a refining process to it. She went the corporate way after college for about 17 years before starting Mambo Pambo, her fashion line.

Light bulb moment

Living in Accra (Ghana) and Abuja (Nigeria) was a light bulb moment for her. There she saw an entire industry hinged on just fashion.

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Mambo Pambo, a clothes retail shop at Nairobi’s Two Rivers Mall. FILE PHOTO | POOL

“My husband and I had moved to West Africa for work when I came face to face with the business aspect of fashion. I saw people making money from it. And I started building my business slowly by collecting fabric, designing outfits, and selling them,” she says.

Her point of divergence (from passion to business) came in 2015 when they came back to Kenya and officially set up the business from a guest room in her apartment.

She wanted the Kiswahili word Pambo in her assemblage of business names. Her children were learning rhyming words then and they added Mambo to Pambo

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  • March 7, 2023