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SAWUBONA — I SEE YOU

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Edited by: Salma Siddick

Styled by: Sarah Shropshire

The Zulu greeting Sawubona (pronounced sow:'bɔh:nah) means 'I see you' and the response, Ngikhona means I am here.
Sawubona, pronounced sow:'bɔh:nah, is more than just an isiZulu greeting. Zulu tradition emphasizes that “I” is connected to your ancestors and they are always with you. When I say, “I see you”, so do my ancestors and in turn, when you see me, you see me as I am through my ancestors. I find this meaning so profound and heartfelt not only because I am African, but more so because humanity must acknowledge each other.

In today’s world where chaos is rampant and it is difficult to be calm and find peace, Sawubona reminds us that we are Ubuntu—in this together

As an African designer, I enjoy using Dutch Wax fabrics, which are a staple for most of Africa's urbane class. A recent article I read about how Dutch Wax became a mainstay of African fashion had parallels to our connectedness in a postcolonial material world.

African fabrics serve conceptual double duty—they act as a symbol of "African culture,” through indigenous patterns and as a symbol of our complexities, interconnectedness, and continental authenticity.

I am committed to creating a brand that encourages people to take this message everywhere. Through colorful designs and silhouettes, in well-constructed garments that can integrate into your contemporary world, KOELES strives to unleash your uniqueness through luxury, expression, and uniqueness. Our pieces are not only made from finely woven fabrics. They remind us of how we too are woven together.
Sawubona, my friends. I See You!
--Wongani