“A person is a person because of other people.”

African Proverb

Every Kenyan woman’s secret weapon is her personal tailor. Ankara, a cotton printed fabric, is sold in lengths of 6 yards in a myriad of seasonal patterns. Once a print is sold out it is rarely, if ever, available again and each Kenyan woman relies on her tailor to let her know when new stock is available so that she can get the first pick.

An African seamstress not only stitches the beautiful creations but also becomes an image consultant to their client, convincing her to try new looks or bolder details. The outfit’s flattering cut, perfect pattern alignment and neat stitching are the strokes of mastery that everyone else desires. A woman’s tailor is a secret she holds close to her heart, only sharing it with her closest friends.

In her own way the Artist participates in this cultural practice, working closely with her own Secret Weapon to immerse the ankara she collects into her photographic work as she chronicles the ever evolving journey of African beauty.

Photography, 2022

Jet Ink Print of FineArt RAG+ Matt 310g mounted on aluminium dibond in black pre-made float frame


Secret-Weapon Low Res