Harriet James @harriet86jim During her trips to the Masaai Market, Anyango Adeyde, a fashion designer, would buy her favourite jewellery, but would be uninspired when she saw how it was mass produced yet she wanted to have unique pieces. This, in turn, birthed a passion in her to create jewellery and designs for people who enjoy owning something distinct.\u00a0 She only faced one problem: she didn\u2019t know how to start. \u201cMy friend, Dr Amakove Wala, gave me a gig to create 2,000 African-inspired conference bags. This pushed me and gave me the confidence to get into the creative space,\u201d she recalls.\u00a0 That she was born and raised in Rombo in Kajiado county, grew her passion for beads even further.\u00a0 Growing up, she was puzzled to see the piercing and brass pieces on her grandfather\u2019s ears because she thought only the Maasais pierce their ears. \u201cSeeing this on Suba elder from the island of Mafangano was very intriguing,\u201d she adds. Sure that this would be her passion for life, Adeyde studied online and watched YouTube videos on how to create style with a meaning. In 2017, she began creating jewellery using bones, beads and brass and establsihed her own brand, Zanta Adeyde.\u00a0 \u201cOver the years, the passion has grown from jewellery into designing and creating pure leather handbags and bespoke accessories inspired by nature globally incorporated into our daily lives,\u201d says Adeyde. Timeless pieces All the bags and jewellery are produced by young men and women from Kibera coming from underprivileged backgrounds.\u00a0 At different stages, each product is made up of vast touches and recycled materials collected across the country.\u00a0 \u201cThe one thing that makes me happy is creating pieces that are timeless and working through the process with the client. Most bags are customised and engraved as per the client\u2019s wishes and I ensure that I have limited version of each design,\u201d she narrates. Recently, Adeyde added leather from Ethiopia to her materials. \u201cI mix in between Kenyan and Ethiopian tanneries. I explore Ethiopia because of their creativity in terms of colours, patterns, quality and cost,\u201d she adds. With a potential of approximately Sh35 billion, the fashion industry in Kenya still struggles to align itself with the wider, more lucrative international market. Lack of proper visibility through advertising and backing from the government are some reasons for this. \u00a0 In 2019, Adeyde was privileged to attend the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation\u2019s African week in Paris, France to speak about the Kenyan designer insights. In September the same year, she was invited to attend the Milan Fashion Week, which was a great avenue for her to interact with different clientele bases across the globe. Such events are a platform where designers can interact with other stakeholders and international buyers. \u201cThe black community in France is very enthusiastic about \u2018buy Africa, build Africa\u2019. I was touched by Ambassador Phyllis Kandie who was keen on supporting Kenyan designers and\u00a0 that she believes in all Kenyan tribes and the creative sector,\u201d says Adeyde.\u00a0 Despite cancelation of international travels, the International Trade Centre She Trades picked Adeyde to exhibit on the first ever Digital Market at New York Now for 2020 -2021. She opened a concept store at Village Market, where she supports nine brands such as Ogake Kenya, Peggy O, Mambo Pambo and others. \u201cWhen I took up the store I did not expect a pandemic as it happened just a week of tenancy. However, I kept hope alive and the Village Market management was understanding as they gave waivers and kept assuring us it will be well,\u201d she says.\u00a0 Adeyde notes that there has been a great growth on Kenyans appreciation towards made-in-Kenya brands particularly Kenyans abroad who are super stylish. \u201cThe market is vast and Kenyans are stylish and appreciate good things. Kenyans are evolving; they have a distinct touch on fine things,\u201d she adds. \u00a0But with all the success, there also comes challenges of running a business. One of them\u00a0 is that she was the only worker in the store, working during the day and creating at night. The second challenge is the production capacity and the lack of creativity in the country. \u201cMany people replicate and copy what they see others do instead of doing unique designs for their clients.\u00a0 I thrive on creating different products always. I am keen on luxury. I keep saying normalise luxury and quality,\u201d observes Adeyde.\u00a0 As a dedicated humanitarian organisation, Zanta ensures that 10 per cent of every jewellery sale goes to purchase yarns for making prosthesis for the Limau Cancer Connection, an organisation that gives free \u201cknitted knockers\u201d to women who\u2019ve had their breast removed. She also donates some to the survivors of sexual abuse in Kibera.