Meet Ugandan sisters, Nahida and Nadia Bhegani who together with their childhood friend, Olga Mugyenyi are the founders of fashion sensation, DEF.I.NI.TION Africa. Their youthful energy promises an alternative approach to fashion, where everyday Ugandan life inspires each of their new designs. Their aim: to have products that are 100% African made, that redefine the market place, and importantly redefine the perception of 'African' fashion.
So tell us how you first started out in business and what your company does today.
We initially started out as a printing and apparel company, but over the past few years we've developed into a lifestyle brand, mainly known for our range of t-shirts which have a unique look and carry powerful messages and iconography. We also have a women's line of clothing; a children's line; a range of homeware which includes everything from cushions and aprons, through to tea-sets, all with the unique brand style; footwear, stationery and accessories.
What first inspired you to start your design company?
In line with the name of our company, DEF.I.NI.TION Africa, we wanted to create unique products that define our experience as Ugandans.
What makes your design products so unique and so desirable to customers?
We aim to have products that are 100% African. We focus on materials, phrases, symbols, modes of transport - in fact, anything and everything that is part of the daily experience of living here.
Tell us a little about your team
DEF.I.NI.TION Africa is owned by three women entrepreneurs - Nahida Bhegani, Nadia Bhegani and Olga Mugyenyi. We employ a team of 20 people.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
We are two sisters and a friend who first met in primary school in Kampala, Uganda. The other thing we share in common is that we have all lived and been educated in several countries across several continents. We have farmers, teachers, business people and politicians in our parentage. The entrepreneurial spirit is everywhere we look - we are lucky to be surrounded by people that not only encourage us to do our best, but expect nothing less from us.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
As we grow, we would like to create a presence for DEF.I.NI.TION Africa across the continent, defining each location in it's unique way.
"We aim to have products that are 100% african made. We want to redefine the market place. We want to redefine the consumer. We want to redefine the value of 'African'."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
It's easy to have an idea. However, turning an idea into a fad is challenging. Its very hard to translate a fad into a business - that is the point at which most start-ups fail. Ultimately, we’ve turned our idea into a business - that is satisfying.
Finally, what's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Why LoA loves it....
At Lionesses of Africa, we first came across DEF.I.NI.TION Africa when we fell in love with their fabulous range of T-Shirts, each one featuring a distinct look and message. This proudly African design brand is the brainchild of Ugandan sisters, Nahida and Nadia Bhegani and their childhood friend, Olga Mugyenyi, and together they are changing perceptions and redefining the value of African design. --- Melanie Hawken, Lionesses of Africa founder and editor-in-chief