Winner of the 2017 Swahili Fashion Week Innovative Fashion Designer of the Year, Kemi Kalikawe founded Naledi Fashion in 2009. The brand focuses on afro-urban, ready-to-wear fashion for the professional woman. Her feminine designs transition easily from day to night wear, with a modern sophisticated aesthetic.
Kemi strongly believes in the power of collaboration, having worked with Words and Pictures (WaPi), a British Council art initiative, organizing the ensuing first two fashion roundtable panel discussions. Kemi founded Naledi Fashion Institute as a way of strengthening the fashion industry by supporting young, up-and-coming designers gain experience, through in-house hands-on training. Through this she facilitated the first Culture and Development East Africa (CDEA) Fashion Incubator Bootcamp East Africa.
Kemi has been featured on CNN Africa Start-up, in Femina magazine (appearing on the cover) and served as a panel speaker for Ndovu Spotlight, a social campaign highlighting and celebrating confident young Tanzanian professionals with the potential to receive international recognition. In 2015, Kemi was chosen for the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), a United States State Department initiative, to represent Tanzania as a leader in the fashion industry. Her company, Naledi Fashion Tanzania is proudly rooted in the history and future of the Tanzania fashion industry.