by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
In the four and a half years I have been running Roka Roko I have been rejected just about a million times. Each time there was a reason why of course. A reason I couldn’t understand but reviewed deeply to better myself. At each of these times when I tried again and again after each rejection, I would feel like I am insane really. Why am I trying again? There is a saying that goes, doing the same thing expecting different results is stupidity; and some times I have felt stupid.
I imagine one day they will ask me why did I never give up? I have been sure that I am passionate about what I do and believe in the success of Roka Roko. This is a wholesome reason and should avoid a lot of further questions. Well, as per the creative person I am who experiences newness in every moment of the day, I found myself pondering on another reason. This is after yet another rejection again. Why?This is my life’s work.
I have found that each of us have a life project; you might not be aware of it; or perhaps you minimize its hugeness in your life. But your life’s work is just that. I am not sure if it’s your purpose too, because my purpose is produced by my life’s work. But I believe my purpose in life could be produced by any type of passion I have. We each have that one place we really excel in and are stubborn about. It is the stubbornness of a young boy insisting on becoming a soccer player even though he has no soccer boots.
What do you do? But more important WHY? Is it the work you will be ok with being associated with in your eulogy. If they write books one day about your life, what must they say? This is exactly what you should be doing. No matter how extreme it looks, how long it seems to need to materialize, and how challenging it is; your life’s project is just that. You will have to get to it sometime or it will remain unfulfilled forever. Until you give yourself a try.
I imagine my book reads that I was an inspiration; that I helped someone push through; that I motivated people to perform miracles. I hope I would have taught someone how much freedom they posses via fashion; I hope people see Roka Roko as a project that says, ‘Why not?’. I am passionate about motivating people; literally pushing people to move forward regardless of the challenges ahead.
My life’s work is a commitment I have made with myself; and it may be postponed or prolonged through life by circumstances and rejections; but it will not be changed. The road there could change; presenting different and new opportunities; but it will remain the one thing I want and need to do for me to be content with the time I have on earth. Some of us may have chosen entrepreneurship for many reasons, but that is just the societal definition of ‘I chose my dream’. It may seem that we are running from the norm; but for most of us this choice has fulfilled us. It is beyond just making a dress. For some of us, our dreams keep us alive and sane.
Brigette Mashile is the founder and creative force behind Roka Roko, a custom fashion design business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company passionately delivers quality tailored and trendy fashion to make their customers happy, and specializes in styling women by creating unusual combinations with fabric, culture and style. Brigette has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a Fashion Diploma from Studio5 School of Fashion. She’s a former fashion buyer for a major retailer in South Africa, and an international direct selling company. She’s been passionate about fashion since the age of 10 and gained invaluable experience in the fashion world running informal fashion creation businesses until the day her own Roka Roko brand was born. Find out more by visiting the Roka Roko website www.rokaroko.co.za
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