I have always found introductions a complex task for - you only get one chance to make a first impression, especially given the current circumstances where you are on our website interested to actually know who we are. Honestly I won't lie, I am tempted to bore you with rhetoric about how amazing we are and why you should buy our pieces because they are art pieces or whatever, but this isn't that kind of story.
This story is bigger than just one person, bigger than an African child's dream, bigger than me - a self-made Zimbabwean designer, musician and artist of sorts. This story is about a concept, born out of my depression, to prevent other young people from experiencing the same.
Depression taught me many things. Firstly, it showed me just how imperfect we are as human-kind. Secondly, it revealed to me just how acute the need to belong is within the youth. We all feel the need to be a part of something bigger than just ourselves. This can simply be a friend group, a fashion trend that defines who is cool and who is not, a hobby, or listening to a specific genre of music that a group identifies by. Nonetheless, ultimately all we want is to belong. However, sometimes belonging comes at the expense of the self as you change who you are to become part of the group to whose collective identity you must adopt. Starting to sound familiar ?
The sad truth is we have all been in a position where we have done things we did not particularly like, just to fit in. As a teenager I am ashamed to admit that I once bought a counterfeit Gucci T-shirt so that people in my home country could see me as one of the "cool kids". It's not a moment I am proud of but it goes to show just how much I wanted to fit into this group and the lengths I would go just to be a part of.
A good friend of mine would always say " don't get caught up in the spirit of othering," and because my depression made me question a lot of things, I realised that I valued other's opinions over my own and so I did anything I could to please the masses, even if it meant forsaking my personal principles and ultimate when one lives such a detached life from the true self, how can he not get depressed?
Ultimately, from these experiences I came to the conclusion that being true to self and having a peace of mind was the most important thing, even if it meant people disliked me.
Heyo, it’s Nik (Niklas) here. It is still kind of unbelievable to me that you are actually reading my story here. A few years ago, I couldn’t have imagined that anybody would be interested in it. I feel like I was living the first 18 years of my life on autopilot where I didn’t really know who I was nor what the heck I wanted to do with my life. I labelled myself as the lazy, insecure/introverted guy and life was basically just happening as I watched from the side. Though, my first relationship really woke me up, as I realized a lot about myself. Being so vulnerable with another person and revealing my true self for the first time made me realize that I am actually worthy and loveable. After the breakup I really got into personal development. I was fascinated by the concept that personalities were flexible. The person you are right now could be changed to become the kind of person you want to be. It really worked; focusing on stepping outside of my comfort zone and striving to become a better version of myself made me grow so much. I finally reached the point where I cultivated enough self-love so that I can give back to the world and I really hope that we can inspire you to live your life to the fullest. Question every label that you, your parents or society put on you because you have the potential to create yourself and live an authentic life.