Where there is a problem, Alain Nkossi has a solution. When schools closed in the city due to the violence he taught his kids to stitch and measure fabric. When the neighbourhood he was living in got too unsafe, he moved his family to the other side of town where he moved in with relatives. When a curtain is broken, a sofa needs stitching or practically anything fabric needs to be remodeled, repaired or refitted, Nkossi has a solution. When there are not enough hours in a day to finish something a client needs urgently, Nkossi works through the night.
Nkossi’s father taught him the tailoring trade, who in turn was taught by his own father. Nkossi tirelessly and proudly works to carry on this dignified family legacy, as he teaches his own sons to sew. With his two manual sewing machines and a colorful army of needels, buttons, zippers and scisors Nkossi is unstoppable. Silently smiling, on time and diligent he is someone to count on and with.
What do you do for Ndara?
I am a tailor and so far I make placemats, lampshades, bathrobes, clutches, bags and any other products that we develop together with Ndara.
What does your work with Ndara mean to you?
It means a new public gets to hear my story and buy my products. I was already an established tailor when I started to work with Ndara. I knew my trade, but I had no capacity or ability to reach customers outside the few clients I had in the neighborhood. Working together with Ndara opens up my skills and products to a much larger clientel. Additionally, working with the Ndara management I get to learn strategy, product planning and presentation. It’s inspiring to work alongside the Ndara team to see just where we can go together.