Dear Ms. Owori,
I hope this letter finds you well.
I don’t normally watch television but happened to catch your episode of the Style Project aired on NTV on 3rd June, 2016. See, that day was a public holiday so I was home with my mother the time the show aired. We tuned in to watch.
This particular episode featured the Multichoice Uganda Africa Day 2016 party that was held sometime back and different fashion designers showcased their work on the run-way. The theme was ‘African Culture Meets Fashion’.
Among the night’s designers was my friend, Vanessa Ikwang. She’s not just my friend but she has made me some really nice outfits that I absolutely rock and love! And not just myself, but other people testify to this as well, she has a long list of clients.
I have worked with a few tailors and designers mainly because I’m a small size and find it easier to have someone make for me than suffer being chased out of people’s shops because they don’t have clothes my size. Believe me, that actually happens. Also, many times, it’s a lot cheaper to have something made.
Back to the purpose of this letter…..
Tailors, like mechanics and carpenters are special people. One requires a certain level of patience to work with them; but most take their trade seriously and put their heart into it.
Most of the young fashion designers I know decided to divert from the norm and took the path of their dreams. Fashion. Design. This is not something very common in this our 256. It is a very bold step and I believe anyone who takes it deserves to be supported and mentored the best way possible. We have young people walking the streets looking for employment because they aren’t sure how to use their skills and gifts to their benefit. Some are simply scared, and opt to look to be employed instead.
On your show, you said some not-so-nice things about the outfits Vanessa Ikwang showcased. Don’t get me wrong, I understand your role on this show is to do that. Appreciate and / or critique fashion. That is okay; but for you to literally call a young designer’s work rubbish….nah madam. Even in school, the teacher never says things like ‘rubbish’. It’s always try better next time, use this approach next time, do corrections…..my teacher used to write in my book ‘see me’ when they really had nothing to say…or were too upset! LOL. Well, there’s an exception of a friend of mine who used to write so badly, the teacher said he wrote like the devil. 😀 Over 20 years later, he’s still traumatised!
Do you get what I’m trying to say here? I’m trying to say, you could have used better, less harsh words to help Vanessa understand what she needs to do to be better. You were among the first people in this country to embrace the whole fashion and design thing and I’m almost certain some of these young ladies trying their luck into the same field look up to you. You should not tear them down! Don’t do that!
I felt terrible watching the show. But I also laughed silly because I knew what you said was not true, and if anything you’ve just made her famous. Her work is not rubbish! Whatever fabric she decides to use for her work, I believe that is a choice. Her choice. And she has a clientele for her choice of fabric. Do not call it rubbish! If you’d like her to use something better, advise her. Like the mentor you ought to be.
In conclusion, Vanessa (like many others) is a young lady trying to find her way to the top doing something she loves, and enjoying it. What were you doing at her now-age? If you’d found your passion at that age and someone rubbished you, how would you have felt?
Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The purpose of ‘constructive criticism is to improve the outcome.
I got that ↑↑↑ definition from Wikipedia. 🙂
A happy rubbish-buyer.