The name Imibongo kaMakhulu means Granny’s Thankfulness/ Praises in IsiXhosa. It is a name given to my daughter by her paternal grandmother, as gratitude for her growing family after her own struggle to conceive before being blessed with twins, one of whom is Imi’s dad, my husband.
My daughter is now five and has been the source of both my courage and inspiration because of just how much I want to teach her about the world, beginning with loving herself. One of the ways I could do this was to show her an example of living a life I love and pursuing my wildest dreams. I’ve seen this life many many times in my mind but never had the courage to even begin to pursue it, until now.
Having been an art scholar and then a fashion student myself, I’ve always been an observer, loved detail and tried to recreate from that love. Making and doing with my hands came naturally, hand made kids goods was a choice very close to my heart, thanks to motherhood. The love of fashion means the range will always be growing, with something new and exciting, all inspired by a playful, thoughtful little girl.
We make soft handmade dolls for gentle play, black dolls that baby’s like my own can identify with, because representation while celebrating each others differences is so important. Our dolls are entirely handmade, making them each unique, their clothing and accessories all individually made with love and care by one mama, Nondumiso Gogela. Mama to Imibongo, my rainbow, my muse.