Nyambo Masa Mara, a renowned Rwandan fashion entrepreneur based in South Africa, is in the country where he is set for a fashion showcase event during which he seeks to share the most intimate and personal showcase to date.
The showcase dubbed ‘Mugongo Wahetse Intore’, which is loosely translated as ‘the back that carried the chosen one’, will take place Saturday, November 26, at L’Espace, Kacyiru.
The work that he intends to showcase is inspired by his mother “who always had an innate knowledge of the span and strength of my wings when she lovingly released me from the nest.”
He therefore, organised the event as an occasion to pay tribute to his mother and grandparents from whom he looked up to when he decided to dedicate his love for fashion.
“As few would know, my love for fashion, textile and everything creative, comes from both my mother and grandfather,” he recalls.
“My mother was a lover of bold colors, with which she engaged through her wardrobe collection and trade in African fabric. My grandfather, who gave me the gift of fashion designing, was a tailor. I honor them by making them my partners on this journey. Being in different dimensions, a stronger portal has been opened that makes us more powerful than ever before,” he further said.
Masa Mara says that every collection and body of work that he has ever worked on has been accompanied by visions of his mother sitting on the front row as he showcased his collections.
He would give her flowers as he walked out for the last time, kiss her feet in gratitude, and hug her as he told her this is only the beginning.
“Prior to these visions, when the stage had not yet known my name, all I wanted was to show her the powers of her gifts. This is why I call on her spirit to join me as I dedicate this fashion art exhibition to her and those we’ve lost in these dark days,” he said.
“With this collection, I would like to light a candle on her behalf, and thank everyone who has played a role in helping my mother to raise me to love, strength, light and purpose,” he added.
Born Hamza Niyonzima, Masa Mara has been in fashion for close to a decade and went on to establish himself among the best African fashionistas of this generation.
He creates and develops his couture around the cultural wear of African tribes which makes his designs unique.
While few know that he is also gifted in art, Masa wants to mark this exhibition through art and fashion as the new beginning of his journey that can inspire future generations.
“I hope for this fashion exhibition to be the armour of bravery, I hope this body of work will be a reminder of those who came before us, for we are the vessels of their love, courage and bravery. And lastly, may it be an exhibition that becomes the light that will shine for the next generation,” he said.
Who is Masa Mara?
Nyambo Masa Mara is a versatile multi-disciplinary, textile and fashion designer, working in a range of media and across platforms. He developed a love affair with fashion and art at a young age. Even as a young boy, Nyambo meticulously put his outfits together and used his clothing to express his culture, personal taste, and his zest for life.
Masa Mara was born in Rwanda, but due to the tragedy that took place in Rwanda in 1994, he was forced to grow up in different parts of Africa. After the Genocide against the Tutsi, he found himself moving to different countries, South Africa being his last stop.
He was in 2021, among four African creatives who participated at the African Fashion International (AFI) and pan-African network of creatives in South Africa, representing East Africa.