Posted by: beninmwangi | September 16, 2007

Kenya Urban Fashion Icon Also Teaches…

jamhuri-wear.jpg

courtesy of: Jamhuri Wear

Just a little over an hour ago, I was doing a periodic tour of my page on myspace and to my surprise after visiting a few of my friends spaces landed on the myspace profile of Jamhuri Wear.  The reason for my amazement is that there have been so many times that I searched for hours to find an entrepreneur like Jeffrey Kimathi(one that the youth can easily identify with) to profile on The Benin Epilogue and then by total coincidence I bump into such a person on myspace… To me Jeffrey Kimathi is the perfect embodiment of the term “cheetah” that Dr. George Ayittey made popular in his book Africa Unchained.

africa-unchained.jpg

courtesy of: WorldChanging

Here is an excerpt on Mr. Kimathi, it is written by one of Kimathi’s friends & colleagues who also happens to be the founder and editor of KBR1963:

kim_50cent.jpg

courtesy of: KBR1963 

For the few who don’t know about the Jeffery Kimathi story or just see Jamhuri today for what it is today. A lot of thought or growth has been put into the product since its inception. In that Kim actually interned for ECKO Clothing Company after moving from Dallas a while back. A lot of people thought he was crazy to work as an intern with no cash (am sure the same people are not really saying much today). After his internship which lasted about 5 months, he was hired to work with the marketing department which was working on launching G-Unit clothing for 50 and other related brands (I guess this is the part where I say the rest is history)

Today Kim is developing his own brand, his own vision, his own clothing line that are communicating the heart, mood, soul and identity of many Africans living in the Diaspora. The clothing line represents our culture in a dignified manner and not the other brands that represent borrowed ideologies that make us look fragmented. Clothes make up who we are, they say a lot about an individual before he opens up his mouth, this would explain why majority of the artists who are into changing humanity end up coming out with a clothing line or t-shirts that make a powerful statement.

I wear Jamhuri Wear because it represents a journey of a man I can relate to, it represents a country I have learnt to love dearly, and it represents the people that I care about the most. I wear Jamhuri wear not because of Kim but because I believe I am a King in my own right. “Made to fit Kings and Queens.” If you haven’t placed an order for an item yet, please do so and look at the attention to detail in the packaging, the delivery and the handling, its these small things that demonstrate greatness and attention to detail. It’s these little things that make me a King.

Ok, so that says a little bit about the visionary behind Jamhuri Wear.  But there is more, Jeffrey is also a blogger.  And with what must be a non-stop, no sleep, 24-7 type schedule he still makes time to write quite a number of superb posts.  He then ties some of the posts into any one of his many unique product offerings.  Below is a post where he talks about a very special city in Senegal called Touba.

courtesy of: Wikipedia

touba.jpg

Touba is the home of an astonishing group of people called the Mourides; they are renowned for their entrepreneurial prowess.  This is something that they display not only in Senegal, but perhaps to an even greater extent outside of Senegal.  It is Emeka Okafor who first introduced me to the Mourides.  But anyhow here is an excerpt from the grandmaster of urban African Fashion:

Their “you can and should do for yourself” work ethic was inherited from Bamba himself; Mourides have developed their own financial and spiritual independence. They are not dependant upon donations from Saudi Arabia or other wealthy Islamic societies.

Touba – Now is the second largest city in Senegal- is an autonomous municipality. Touba does not pay taxes or answers to the federal government. There is no smoking or drinking allowed, nor do residents pay water bills. Women participate in the public life: many with their own businesses. The brutally strict interpretation of Islamic law (Sharia) that some societies have adopted is nowhere in sight. More on this great icon

In closing, let me say that this post was aimed at the current hip hop generation.  If anyone reading this post feels that you fit this definition, then this is for you.  Reach for the stars.  At one time Kimathi did the type of work that he does today as an intern (read-he did  it for free), but all that time he kept his eyes on the prize and look where he is today, this reminds me a lot of something that I read in Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad.  So Kim teaches us that if we can make the sacrifices early and stay the course, then we can achieve in business to infinity!

 

 

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Responses

  1. […] Benin Mwangi profiles Jeffrey Kimathi, the entrepreneur behind Jamburi Wear. […]


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