5 Questions: Jewelry Designer Jack of Kibera
At Obakki, we always want to know more about the people behind our products. Human beings are many-faceted creatures and as much as you may know someone already, you can always dig a little deeper. These five questions do just that.
Today, we talk to Jack, one of our artisans from the Kibera neighborhood in Nairobi, Kenya. Discarded brass and cow horn (a by-product of the food industry), usually end up in the trash – but our artisan partners in Kenya are turning these raw materials into beautiful jewelry.
What do you love most about your life?
I love my family and I love having a business that helps others.
Who (or what) has inspired you the most in your work?
What inspires me is that the work I'm involved in makes a difference to the community I belong in. It helps to keep the environment safe and it creates employment for those who would otherwise be unemployed. That's one thing that inspires and encourages me a lot – helping my community and helping people around me.
Why do you create art – what drives you?
I have three things that drive me. I love that creating art is my work. I can pay my bills. I am contributing to society in a positive way. Three important things.
Where would you like to see your business in the future?
In the future, I would love to develop a craft centre, where community members are taught viable skills. I see a big centre, with 50+ artists, and we have all of our creativity in one spot and we all help each other and inspire each other.. And then one day, I would like to see our jewelry worn by a celebrity.
How can we help create a better world for each other?
The first and most important thing we need to do is to trust in our own abilities and to help each other find good markets for our products. We need to invest in our communities and in our people – in learning centres, in tools and more. And we need to guide each other and pull each other back when we go wrong. Because we are human and we all need some help.
SHOP THE STORY
As the holiday season approaches we want to inspire sustainable gift-giving. Instead of manic gift purchasing, you’ve still got time to make sure that your gifts are ethical and sustainable. But how do you do that? By asking a few important questions before you buy.
With our new focus on sustainable, ethical homewares, we are proud to say we are working with partners in 11 different countries. It encompasses 65 different artisan groups and thousands of incredible individuals. Many in African countries. I’m back out on the road to meet them again. And it feels amazing.