THE YCEO: The Inspiration story of Rahma for the youth - THE YCEO

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THE YCEO: The Inspiration story of Rahma for the youth

The Inspiration story  of Rahma for the youth
Rahma Baajuni focuses on issues which are of concern to the youth in Tanzania and beyond.
Knowledge is limitless, as such, youth should keep learning and shouldn’t remain contented with the knowledge they have – this was said by Rahma Baajuni, 30, founder and Creative Director of MnM clothing line, a popular Afro-Centric clothing brand in Tanzania. She recently received an award from the African Union chairperson who is also the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, during the Arab and African Youth Platform held on March 17 this year.

“The world is evolving and we need to change with it. We should strive to unlock our potential notwithstanding the challenges we grapple with,” she said.

With great knowledge come great responsibilities. Someone who’s knowledgeable will try to do different things in their life, for example entrepreneurship activities.

This stems from accessing skills such as interpersonal skills, communication ability, a strong work ethic, initiative and teamwork.

Talking about the award Rahma says; “It is such an honour not only to me but to my country as well.

Being recognized among other amazing youth in Arab and African regions for my contribution in shaping the future means so much to me. Any other youth who works tirelessly to develop our communities,” she says.

Youth in the Arab region and Africa share a lot of history, as well as present circumstances, this makes the cooperation between them essential for the development of their countries. Youth in both regions have grown to prove that they are capable of developing a promising vision of integration between both regions.

Featured on Forbes 2018 most promising entrepreneurs in Africa, Rahma is slowly ascending to the pinnacle of success.

Her History

Rahma was is the last born and only girl child in a family of three, born and raised in Kilimanjaro.

“Both my parents died while I was young. I studied in government schools throughout my education journey.

Rahma holds a Masters Degree in Research and Public Policy and Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology both from the University of Dar Es Salaam.

Rahma is motivated by anyone who has the desire to be better. “I look up to anyone who strives to achieve something in life,” she says.

She says one of the key issues which are of concern to the youth in Tanzania and beyond, is unemployment. “I felt I had a role to play in solving that, hence the birth of MnM Clothing Line. MnM is a product of my passion towards youth issues and the fashion business,” she says.

Speaking of the reasons that made her embark on a journey as a Vitenge Fashion designer, Rahma says her love for creativity and fashion led her to decide to focus on tailoring because people who are around her are young women and men who love to dress in fashionable attires.

Rahma, whose company produces affordable clothes and other fashion accessories for men and women using the popular Kitenge fabric, says she has been a youth activist for more than 10 years and youth issues are pertinent to her work.

She’s also held different junior leadership positions in youth organizations like Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania (YUNA), Tanzania Youth Coalition and Restless Development.

MnM Company

Talking about her company, Rahma says MnM, established in 2016, caters to men, women and children.

She started the business when she was doing her Masters course, this was after she saved enough money which made her afford to buy two tailoring machines and two domestic sewing machines, she then rented a single room as a production house.

“There’s a notion among people, that African prints are not as classic as other fabrics. Our goal is to use modern designs to produce high-quality clothes and items in African Print,” she says.

“As the Founder and Creative Director of MnM Clothing Line, my role has been to set the vision and goal of the company and ensure that I and the entire team are working to achieve that.”

Rahma didn’t have it easy trying to settle into the business world. “As great as the entrepreneurship journey can sound, the struggle, loneliness and stressfulness is part of the journey. Passion can pick you up when things aren’t going the way you expected,” she says.

Being able to inspire and impact people’s lives are some of the things that fuel her drive to further success. She draws her zeal from other organisations and spaces that aim to empower the youth.

“Our target is to serve lower and middle-class Tanzanians. We ensure our attires are affordable and reliable to the majority of Tanzanians.

Talking about her success, Rahma gives all the credit to God. “I am a firm believer of Gods mercy and grace and I do believe God has been there for me since day one.”

Her company has employed 9 permanent staff and 20 Part-time.

Challenges

Some of the challenges she faces are mostly about policies and operations, stating that most are not start-up friendly. “For example, taxation estimation begins taking effect even before the business has picked pace or made any profit.

She further reveals they have challenges of power reliability. “This restrains us from producing massively and saving costs of production. Materials are quite expensive, making competition against external markets impossible.”

Despite the challenges, Rahma is optimistic of success in her business. And plans to cater to both local and international markets.

“In two years we have managed to serve people of all Caliber and settings of life in Tanzania and neighbouring countries like Kenya, Uganda, we’ve even gone further to Zimbabwe, Sweden, Germany and Australia,” she says.

MnM has opened another store in Moshi and is looking forward to opening more stores in other cities across the country. Their main store production is located in Dar es Salaam, Mwenge, Tausi street.

“We have recently started a training centre for youth and women on fashion designing and fashion business. Our main goal is to bring back the love for African Prints,” she says.


By Devotha Johns

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