I recall early on as a young boy, I was introduced to art in school. During the way of the cross, we would use soil, leaves, and colored powder to decorate our space. Church was my main inspiration for art. From the wall murals of Jesus to the priest’s robes, I interacted with art through Christian ceremonies such as Christmas, Easter and baptism celebrations.
Dressed in my Sunday best, I recall being attracted by the African patterns on ladies’ dresses. Sunday mass was fabulous — the music, the choir, and beautiful spaces. I always made it a point to have my shoes polished for mass, and I recall those days how my mother bought me floral shirts and black trousers. She always looked so smart, beautiful and clean, and I just wanted to match her. Over the years, she would call and ask me about colors and fabrics. One of the common fabrics we have in Uganda is the Gomesi fabric — it’s the modernized traditional wear of Baganda women.
As a teenager, I took an interest in Photoshop and design. I talked to my mother about it, and she arranged to get me a computer. I dedicated lots of time to studying art and design, and I started working with an advertising company as a graphic artist which led me to fabric design. I already had the idea of starting a fashion house of African designs and stories.
I am on the journey now, starting with a series of scarves titled Mukisa (Blessing). I thank God for the many blessings, my mother for her love and care. I also thank Kathie Kreh and the African Orphan Educational Foundation for this opportunity to share my culture and my story.
May God Bless you and the works of your hands.
By: George Kizito | House of Ssese | Ssese Islands, Uganda