one on one with Bui Amanda: Talama Collection

Noll_Talama_1A few months ago I did an interview with Bui Amanda of Talama Collections. She is based in Francistown, Botswana. I met Bui through social media and have been following her work since we became friends on facebook, she is incredibly talented. Read more about her below. #BuyBotswana

visit her page: Talama Collection

Photography: Lorraine Kinnear Photographs

Make Up Artist: Bojelo Marari

Stylists: Nollie Ngwira & Tanlume Enyatseng

When did your career in jewellery design start?

I have always been fascinated by beads from a very young age. My mother was a fashion designer and always dressed and accessories fashionably and I believe this contributed a lot towards my talent, I used to make Jewelry and just pile it there because I felt the world was not ready for what I did .In 2008 I started selling to friends and in 2011 the business started to show significant results.


Nowadays, anything African is an international trend. How do you stay true to what Botswana is all about without getting caught up with the hype?


It is very difficult not to get caught up with the hype especially that our designs embrace different vibrant colorful cultures of Africa and the fact that our target market is globally. None the less, we have embraced Botswana culture and traditions in our bead work by coming up with designs that can be appreciated by people from across the nation and the world and products were we have incorporated Botswana State colures and have used by-products found in Botswana, e.g., Ostrich egg shells and leather just to mention a few.Noll_Talama3



How do you strike a balance between a 9to5 and running a creative business? (I assume she works)

(Sigh)The production part is the most challenging part, thanks to the passion I have for this business otherwise I could have long given up, deep down I know the sleepless nights and busy weekends that have costed me a social life will pay off some day .Most of the staff is done after hours and during weekends, hopefully by next year there will be more staff in the production team. (I have Mpho my sister who helps with marketing and a few friends who make up the whole Talama Team)Thanks to them too.Noll_Talama_2


What legacy would you like Talama Collection to leave behind?

The legacy which Talama Collection should leave is that one of encouraging the youth to become entrepreneurs at a tender age. Talama Collection should also be seen as a business which revolutionised beaded fashion within Africa market. We would like Talama Collection to be internationally recognised and its beads products to be sought after by fashion designers all over the world. Since fashion and culture are dynamic, we would like Talama Collection to be a dynamic company, moving with the latest fashion trends. As a brand Talama Collection thrives to produce timeless, unique products as well as thrive to be a highly creative, innovative company that can play a bigger role in assisting government to create jobs.Noll_Talama3



we also want people to acknowledge that fashion is not only an American or European thing but an African thing as well, and that Botswana can even do it better than other countries. Over and above, as Talama Collection business is more about Art and fashion design, we would like to encourage young people that opportunities within the art and fashion design are immerse and can become viable business which can contribute to the GDP of the country.

Finally, Talama Collection should always put the interests and tastes of its creative industry in the forefront. Our love for beads should be maintained by those who come after us and should not just be for customers, but for the creative industry which cares about beads and fashion.Noll_Talama4


 What’s the one life lesson you’d pass to young creatives in our country today?


“Do not wait to be discovered rather go out there and share your God given talent with the world, opportunities will avail themselves and the Universe will follow by putting everything into perspective”.

For instance they can take advantage of many platforms the Government has provided to youth such as the annual Presidential day competitions or the MYSC market exhibitions.Noll_Talama5



Photography: Lorraine Kinnear Photographs

Make Up Artist: Bojelo Marari

Stylists: Nollie Ngwira & Tanlume Enyatseng