HomeStandard PeopleOur stories are best told by us

Our stories are best told by us

At times we get so diluted in our works, friends, and social activities or even just diluted by ourselves, being full of ourselves. It’s not that I had forgotten that I had to submit a piece for this Sunday, but it so happened that I have been travelling the entire week.

global citizenship with Gilmore Tee

We can tell our stories through the way we dress
We can tell our stories through the way we dress

The beauty about this part of the story is that I get to work while having fun and at the same time, I just need to be extremely aware of the people around me and those that I network with. I am literally on the job, while on the job. Just on the day of the deadline, I still had not typed anything, yet I always have so much to say.

This new development of writing for The Standard Style has made me realise that sometimes there are things I have in my mind, that are not necessarily meant for the next person to know about. Am sure most of us have those ugly or good thoughts about something or someone, but we never let them be heard. This is my current situation, with so much to say, I have to be able to censor everything that comes from my end. Frequently this becomes a boring approach to life, because one has to say things that are termed appropriate, while on the other hand, being blunt might be actually a good thing. Say it as it is!

While sitting in the corridor of my hotel… I will need another article to talk about rules of staying in a hotel that functions on your card to enter your room and also use the elevator to and from your floor. But the wait on the corridor brought this piece to life.

I noticed the moment I landed in Durban, on how there was some atmosphere and the need to always be heard by most young people I came across. It’s a beautiful thing having today’s youths craving to know more about themselves, because a lot have lost that interest. A few days later, I attended the Durban Fashion Fair and a few of the shows left a vivid picture in my head. I loved the fact that many designers this time used their skills and art to tell their stories. It is high time we connect with spaces or elements that make us a people or allow us to share our uniqueness.

For years, even up to now, a lot of us are very good story-tellers not of our own stories, but we are good at telling other peoples stories to the extent that if we come across someone from another part of the world, they would believe we are not from our tribes or countries. It makes me wonder though, on how long we are going to be doing this to ourselves and those around us. I strongly believe that when one has the ability to communicate through their own voice, their art or capability, it is very vital that they use that opportunity to tell people who they are, why they are there and where they come from. As Africans or the modernised African children, we sometimes shun sharing our stories with the world, yet others are not afraid of letting us know of who they are. We have risked so much on our stories that they are narrated wrongly, while we sit and watch that happen. We ourselves do not feel proud enough to tell our unique stories, “We want to move with the times” and forget everything.

I was impressed with the Amathongo collection that was showcased by House of Alfalfa. To be honest, it was more than just a showcase of clothes, but it was an experience and a journey from the first piece to the last. The South African clothing label had izangoma dancing as an opening act before the models started walking out, and it made me gain an understanding of the designers background and what is unique about where they come from. Not that I would expect everyone to showcase the same thing or have the same concept, but your collection can just be a straight African Nubian feel like the one Nkanyeziyethu Malunga showcased with her models walking out to Youssou Nd’our’s song, while having accessories made from ilala (basketry) and with highlights of Ndebele patterns on the modern silver metallic material. Her collection told a story of a strong African woman who embraces being Ndebele and the changes around her by incorporating traditional and modern materials together.

Telling one’s stories cannot only be through their art, but it can also be a particular way of dressing that will allow the people around you to start a conversation, hence giving you an opportunity to make yourself known. Thus, you would have been granted an opportunity to share your story, tell them about those you represent that might not have the same opportunity as you, and above all, making a mark.

We need not be afraid to share our experiences, which will be unique to us and a wonder to the rest of the world.

What makes us are not the immediate things that we encounter, but the experiences we have travelled through and also those that we interact with. Life on its own is a journey of self-discovery and also an opportunity to be you. Our stories are best told by us!

Gilmore Tee is a social entrepreneur, global citizen, curator, publicist and host, who works within the Zimbabwean creative industry, with a strong bias towards fashion. He is the founder of Hunnar Management Agency. He can be reached on website: www.gilmoretee.com or Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: Gilmore Tee

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