Miyoba is a designer, entrepreneur and environmental advocate with two years work experience with the nonprofit sector. She owns a Zambian design brand called Mwabonwa which makes African print beddings, Jewry, adult and children’s wear. Miyoba is also a youth leader of Echo Change Zambia which conducts environmental awareness activities in schools and communities and has spearheaded the planting of 33,571 trees in Monze District of Zambia from January to March 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Education with environmental education form the University of Zambia. Her main skills include capacity building, community mobilisation, advocacy and enterprenuaship. Miyoba plans to expand her brand and open a design school where she will teach young girls and boys entrepreneurship skills.
What’s your strategy of being in the forefront as a young African entrepreneur?
My strategy is venture into areas that have not yet been explored and capitalise on them. Unlike most fashion entrepreneurs who run either a small tailoring shop or a sales outlet, I plan to set up a clothes production factory and sales outlet that will have various sections which go above and beyond customer’s expectations.
How long do you think it will take to kill the second hand clothing business?
If more textiles industries are established, more designers begin to use local raw materials and local consumers see the value and begin to support locally made products, it will take 20 years or less.
The second hand clothing business is so popular because it’s cheap. Do you think it will be cheaper when we produce ourselves?
Absolutes yes. The reason why brand new clothes are expensive is because they are produced internationally and involve a lot costs from production to consumption. If we produce our own clothes using our local raw materials, we will not only making brand new clothes affordable but also creating employment from textile manufacturing, clothe production and later on sales and marketing.
How are you planning on bridging the gap for those that are struggling to also sell better quality clothing?
Miyoba can you share with us your environmental concerns?
I have beliefs and values that guide me to protect the environment in my every day activities. The environment is our home where all life only thrives when it is safe. A defiled environment can not support life, businesses and economies. We have not done so much in protecting our environment in the past as the resulting impacts are threatening the very lives we are trying to improve and the very businesses or economies we are trying to build.
What are some ways l can help the environment that l might not be aware of?
One can help the environment by reducing the use of plastic bags when shopping, choosing to buy environmentally friendly products, use less water, recycling products, planting trees, growing organic products and generally speaking to friends about good environmental practices.
If you were to be reborn, would you rather live at the beginning of the world or at the end?
I would live at the beginning because I feel we have wronged the earth so much without realising and now that I know what damage we humans have done to the planet, I would love a second chance with mother earth, just to start all over again.