What started off as a fantasy has become a living experience for Cyril Sibanda who is responsible for the UFALME designer bag outlet – a label started by a self-taught designer that has been surfacing social media and caught numerous people’s attention due to how authentic his products are.
The founder of UFALME (meaning Kingdom in Swahili) has dreams to pursue a career in fashion designing. However, growing up in a black household somehow prevented him from doing so. He studied Information Technology which he was forced into doing, but since he had no desire for the qualification, he decided to change his path to creating bags and clothing.
Sibanda gained experience when his mother purchased an old sewing machine at an auction. From then on he started teaching himself the relevance of sewing. He began by taking his old clothes and reassembling them until it led to him wearing self-made items that got his community to realize his potential.
“I always used my mom’s machine for practice and that led to me being able to make the merchandise that I am promoting. At first, I would sew clothing for myself to a point where people noticed my work and requests started flooding in from friends and close family,” explains the stylist.
In addition, the resilient entrepreneur received more familiarity of the fashion industry through an occupation he secured at Aca Joe; that is how he managed to save enough money to buy another sewing machine. Soon after he resigned due to transport issues and ventured into manufacturing bags that he has labelled UFALME.
“I observed how brands that are local would focus on producing the typical hats and tracksuits combo and hardly sold bags for people to add onto the outfit. I thought of all the citizens without cars, how the ones utilizing public transport may be in need of backpacks to carry their belongings,” he adds.
UFALME mainly generates ranges such as duffle bags, toiletry bags, backpacks and man purses all ranging from R200 to R650. The items are mostly made from a material called Leatherette which is quite similar to genuine leather, but it is rather an organic version. The design of the goods is a resemblance of the African continent. Most importantly, they are created so that other Africans may relate to them and therefore avoid similar products from the West.
The owner emphasizes that his objective in advocating such a distinguished business is for other youngsters in black societies to learn from him. He wants them to be able to start something of their own without relying heavily on other people for aid. He also wishes they would understand that not everything is about money, somethings need for one to have the drive in order to succeed.
In the near future, Sibanda looks at outsourcing his creation to international and local retailers. He wants to build his brand before allowing other people to be part of it. He believes in making his label thrive and for people to know that UFALME is here to help you carry your load this festive season.
To place an order or for more details, contact Cyril on +27 60 382 6290 or visit the Twitter page @UFALME.