I had planned to have a bag show this month and had been preparing for it for months. Sketches? Check. Venue? Check. Theme? Check, check. Production team??? AWOL. Father Lord, give me strength!!!
Of the many challenges any business owner faces in Nigeria, reliable/able staff comes second only to lack of constant electricity. At the same time, I couldn't really blame the team for going awol. Because our beloved country has put all its people power and resources into either the Oil and Gas or banking sectors, there is a real lack of skilled artisans, in all creative fields. The team had been working round the clock not only for Zashadu, but for countless other leather goods designers as well; it was inevitable that they would burn out eventually.
So what did I do? I stopped calling them to answers of failed promises, packed my bags and went on two whole weekends away, shot Zashadu website images for the upcoming website, shot a mini film on the making of a Zashadu bag and designed countless other bags including a gorgeous range of bags for men inspired by Mark Rothko paintings (more on that later).
After three weeks AWOL, I finally received a phonecall from the team.
P.T - "Madam, I dey Lagos now o" he said,
Z.A - "Ah, I no know say you even commot! I tink say dem tif your phone oh" I seethed through gritted teeth, feigning surprise and concern,
P.T- "How you take know Madam?! Dem tif my phone, all my moni, my mama come die (again) and I go bury am for village, when I reach village, dem tell me say...." he waffled on and on.
Z.A- "E don do o Chuma! Shey you dey Lagos now? Resume tomorrow, it is well."
P.T -"Thank you ma"
And with that, we're back on. Wish me luck!
All photographs by the amazing Medina Dugger xxx
Putting it all together
So forgetful, must write EVERYTHING down
Weekend away no.1, gisting with my best friend x
Weekend away no. 1 - posing :)
Weekend away no. 1 - Pepsi's being toasted
"People are hustling, you are dreaming..." Best friend/ Director manager snoozing
Weekend away no. 2 - Chilling :)
Weekend away no. 2 - reading/laughing/eating/talking to myself a lot!