Taku came to Australia in 2002 when she was 19. Her parents sent her to study architecture at the University of Western Australia in Perth. While working in architecture she decided to start her own fashion label to stay connected with her African roots. Taku runs Ribbon of Africa from Perth. She spends time designing, sewing and attending fashion events around the country.
At the time of her interview with SAbona, Taku was driving around Australia on holiday with her husband. “It is an amazing experience because of the people I am meeting and the places I am seeing,” she says.
Challenges faced since moving to Oz: The biggest challenge is that I am away from my family in Zimbabwe. Last year I lost my father and it was difficult to be many oceans away. I found it challenging to juggle several jobs whilst I was still studying fulltime. It also took me a while to get used to the 48ºC Australian summers!
Things she misses: I miss my family. I miss the music and definitely the food. There is something about being in Africa that makes me feel truly alive.
Favourite things about Australia: I love the people in Australia. I love the lifestyle it offers and I love the beautiful country itself. I also love that it's a land of opportunities where everyone can have a ‘fair go'.
Advice to new arrivals: Plan ahead so you choose somewhere good to stay based on your needs. Then do your homework – find people from a similar background or those with similar interests. Make friends and start to enjoy the beaches!
Something to make the journey easier: It's really simple…bring with you photos of everything you love and treasure about Africa. You will get homesick and, in time, some memories may fade.
About her success: I have worked hard, asked a lot of questions and networked shamelessly. You have to make friends wherever you are because you never know when you can help them and vice versa. The best place I started was my local Small Business Development Corporation in Perth for overall business advice.
Hopes for the next few years: I have many ideas and initiatives to pursue so I hope in a few years I will have succeeded in some, whilst I'll still be working on the rest. I also hope to help more African Australians succeed in their own endeavours.
South African food: Sadza or pap with anything. I love it!
Australian food: Pizza
Dish to cook for a family dinner: Lamb roast
Food to cook on a BBQ or braai: Lamb chops and snags with salads on the side
Music: A variety depending on my mood – R&B, kwaito, rock, dance
Holiday destination in Australia: Everywhere is beautiful. Yet to see the top end of Australia though.
Holiday destination in South Africa: Victoria Falls. It's just magical.
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