On Thursday Brian Sonko’s dreams came closer to reality when he won the 2018 Seed Fashion show on the first day of the Kampala Fashion Week at the Kampala Railway Station
Brian Sonko (middle in white t-shirt) who won the 2018 Seed Fashion Project on the first day of the Kampala Fashion Week. Left is Nile Cole, the Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, Kampala. Photo by Kalungi Kabuye
He grew up in the slums of Kawempe, and spent his time creating toy cars out of barbed wire.
At the age of seventeen he dropped out of school because he had to find ways to survive, and decided maybe fashion designing would make the difference. So he turned to the Internet for inspiration.
On Thursday Brian Sonko’s dreams came closer to reality when he won the 2018 Seed Fashion show on the first day of the Kampala Fashion Week at the Kampala Railway Station, which came with a sh2m cash prize and a year’s mentorship.
“I’m really excited, because now people can see there is more to people in the ghetto than just drugs and committing crimes, but that we can be really creative,” Sonko said. “I hope my winning can be an inspiration to all the youth living difficult lives that dreams can become a reality, and you can become who you want to be.”
The Uganda Seed Project is organised and sponsored by the US Embassy, Kampala Fashion Week, The Paper Fig Foundation, and New York’s LDJ Productions. Now in its 5th year, it calls for application from young designers from all over the country.
From the thousands of applications received this year, 12 designers were chosen as finalists and received access to workshops, one-on-one training and exposure to established local designers, culminating in the Seed Fashion Show. Each designer was tasked to create an outfit with the theme ‘Lightness and Darkness.
This year’s finalists were Rozmerie Namaganda (29) from Nsambya, Kirsten Ariko (25) from Soroti, Patience Alowo (24), Gloria Emoge (25), and Martha Nakyo (21). Others were Alice Atuhaire (32), Jackie Ijokereng (38) from Soroti, Brenda Areto Oktokotber (35), Angel Immaculate Nalubega (26), Mariam Kobusingye (20) from Rwanda, Allan Okiring (29) from Soroti, and Brian Sonko (20), from Kawempe.
Previous winners are Aggrey Twinomugisha (2014), Olivia Nanfuka (2015), Charles Semanda (2016), and Joanita Nakigudde (2017).