Zimbabwe’s fashion blogger, Tapiwa Rubaya was the first in the country to be nominated in the third edition of the Katutura Fashion Awards which were recently launched at Plaza Casino in Windhoek, Namibia.
The annual event is on 22 August 2022 and is aimed at uniting the diverse cultures through fashion, and bringing global fashion to the people.
My Afrika Magazine journalist, Charmaine Brown spoke with Tapiwa Rubaya , a fashion blogger and journalist as he tells us more about the Awards and his blog.
CB: How is the feeling of being the first Zim to be nominated at the awards?
TR: At first I thought it wasn’t true until one of the organisers contacted me, passing the message of congratulations. I then realized that, someone is watching our work even if we are far miles away from them.
And I want to thank God for making me to become the first Zimbabwean to be nominated in the Katutura Fashion Awards, this is history and it will never be erased but it will be told.I want to thank Rudo Rutendo Mtandari who encouraged me to be a blogger and not forgetting everyone whose story is being good at the blog.
CB: What criteria established you as a professional in this field, and what makes you uniquely qualified for this award?
TR: I don’t believe that this nomination is for me, I usually say this even in other gongs I have won local or International in the past, that the people who told the stories that are written in the blog are the nominees. It is their stories that made the selection judges to select the blog as part of the nominees.
The reason I believe why I believe our blog was select, I believe ‘we’ told stories that define whom we are as Africa and the World.
CB: What according to you is the best part of being a fashion blogger?
TR: The greatest part is you get to be told and share that unique story, that is going to be ready by someone whom you don’t know and that it’s going to change their lives.
Above all you get to talk to ‘those’ people whom many classify them as celebrities. Imagine I have had conversations and told stories of people who have dressed Presidents and even celebrities this is an honor and privilege you get.
CB: Define fashion for us?
TR: Fashion is who you are, you define what you can wear.
CB: What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion blog?
TR: Being able to listen especially to the readers, being able to be a good writer as well as being able to turn a new or old story into a unique story.
CB: How would you describe your blogging style?
TR: It’s modern, chiefly when you read most stories that are being shared in the blog are 80 percent about male fashion designers and models. Probably you might be asking why and the answer being there are few platforms that are being given to male in the fashion industry hence the blog Fashion Inspirations, is a platform for advocating and to share the talent that not only the boy child is contributing in the fashion industry in Africa and in the world.
CB: Can you share the greatest lesson you have learnt during your time working as a fashion blogger and journalist?
TR: The first biggest lesson is that being a blogger and a journalist are two different things. Which means I have two roles in my writing life, being a journalist and being a blogger. However, with the two roles I have learnt that researching is one of the most important things in the life of a writer/author.
Also, It doesn’t mean that when another blogger or journalist has written a story which can be described by the public as a ‘big’ story and you didn’t script it down in your blog you have failed.
Lastly the most important lesson I have learnt is, we as journalists we are not story tellers, we are listeners and our interviewee are the story-tellers.
CB: How do you attract new readers?
TR: I don’t define readers of the blog as readers, I believe they are the owners of the blog. Hence most of the time I usually conduct a survey and ask questions such as what type of changes they want in the blog in terms of stories that they want to read about. In a summary I allow readers to be the drivers of the bus.
CB: Which countries does your blog reach?
TR: We have reached a number of countries across the world, sometimes when I check the stats, I get shocked in terms of the number of readers from other countries where they are coming from as I have no personal contact from there for example Nepal, Combodia, Uruguay, Russia and Egypt amongst other countries.
However, I want to thank everyone who has made that click and visited our site, preciously when I check the stats the leading countries are Zimbabwe, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, USA and Ghana.