Pictured: Usher Takudzwa Nyambi, Courtesy of Nyambi & Lennox Makurumidze
There are so many insights and new joys to be experienced when we choose to interact, in humility, with people from different backgrounds. In Harare, the divide between life experiences and access can be particularly seen on either side of Samora Machel Avenue.
Rather than working to cross this divide on a superficial level, Samora Central seeks to address these separations on a deeper social and economic level.
I first heard of Samora Central through its first drop of textile pieces earlier this year. Samora Central apparel provides basic but updated pieces for the young Hararian. But in itself, this offshoot of the brand only communicates part of Samora's story.
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2. The Samora Central Journey
Samora Central first began as a website started by Usher Takudzwa Nyambi. Nyambi is a staunch Arsenal fan who studied International Relations at Africa University. After graduation, Nyambi found himself interning at the United Nations, working in various marketing and communications related roles, and in need of a creative outlet.
Thus, the Samora Central website was born.
At the time, the website existed as a way for Nyambi to share about anything and everything he found interesting. But since then, the website has developed a dedicated community of city-dwellers from around the world who connect via the website, a WhatsApp group, social media, and now, through the denim jackets and tote bags they can be seen sporting in their daily lives.
Through the website and WhatsApp group, contributors share job opportunities and their experiences of life around Harare.
3. The Samora Central Ethos
All of this speaks to Samora Central’s ethos that no matter which side of Samora Machel you live on, you are invited to join in on personal and communal creative expression.
In everything the brand does, Samora Central encourages individuals to embrace their backgrounds, while also highlighting the need for interacting with worlds beyond our own, and doing so with curiosity, empathy, and a learning spirit.
There are still many ways Nyambi and his collaborators hope to express this ethos going forward. In 2024, members of the community can look forward to in-person workshops which will equip them with practical skills and confidence they need to enter the local and international creative industries (not just creative communities).
This was just one of the plans Nyambi expressed during my interview with him, and there were hints of other exciting expressions to come. I look forward to seeing how Samora Central continues to grow and evolve.
Thank you Samora Central for the spaces and knowledge you are providing. We look forward to seeing where this pursuit of diverse and empathetic community will take you.
Thank you Usher Takudzwa Nyambi for taking the time to share your journey with us.