Brian Sonko Prepares for Kampala Fashion Week 2019
July 1, 2019
When Brian Sonko told his story of growing up as a street kid in Kampala, he was a contestant in the Uganda Seed Project competition. There were many great candidates vying for the year-long mentorship and the guarantee of a full show at the next Kampala Fashion Week, in addition to 2 million shillings. But Sonko's skills and his story moved the judges and he won. Since then, he spent his winnings traveling to Northern Uganda to interview people who had been living in a war-torn area for years. He took those stories to heart, and used them as inspiration for the line of clothing that he's been working on for September.
In late June, Rae Young, lead mentor of the Paper Fig Foundation, traveled to Kampala to meet with Brian and help him shape his vision. Gloria Wavamunno, founder of Kampala Fashion Week, was a part of these meetings, and Sonko was given opportunities he never could have imagined when he stepped out on the KFW 2018 runway to present his case.
Now, Sonko is a mentor in his own rite. The Paper Fig Foundation has funded him to travel to rural Kasese to teach the Paper Fig Alumni Association, graduates of the Paper Fig Skills Training Institute. He brought fresh ideas to the area, like using reclaimed materials to create fashionable, wearable bags. Sonko has become an integral part of the Paper Fig family. It's not only his talent and vision that we respect and admire: it's his commitment to empowering others. He aligns with the Paper Fig Foundation mission: to use fashion and fine arts as tools for empowerment in East Africa. Keep up with him on Instagram @sonco24 or join The Paper Fig Foundation's Facebook group to ask Brian any questions you might have about his journey.