As usual due to FOMO, Showbiz Uganda could not miss out the opportunity to bring you our readers, first hand information. We caught up with the lady herself, Erika, and asked her about the event.
SU: Hi Erika Erika: Hallo Showbiz Uganda
SU: Most people know you as Barika, so can you please enlighten them on your real name?
Erika: My name is Erika Biingi, Biingi being my family name. My middle name is Nyakato, since I’m a twin. So the full name is Erika Nyakato Biingi.
SU: So am guessing the word Barika comes from that? Erika: No Barika comes from two names Barbra (a friend) and Erika. We had the idea as children and when I got done with school, I started up. It also has a nice meaning in Swahili, which we learnt after creating the company.
SU: So what exactly is Barika Fashion house about? What do you do?
Erika: We had this idea to create everyday clothing and add origin to them. Yah so that’s what we do. We culturalise clothing for anyone with any sort of African Heritage. We make clothing for both women and men using African print as a main factor in our clothing. We will slowly also add accessories in the years to come.
SU: Where do you get the African fabric from? Erika: I go with a friend of mine called Karen to Kiyembe. We will probably import later on but for now, it’s really fun going down there
SU: That is very interesting. I must say you look very young yet have very mature ideas, how old are you, if you don’t mind us asking? Erika: 19
SU: WHAT!!!! Erika: (laughs) I like to have that effect on people.
SU: (still in shock) What or who inspires (d) you to start this?Erika: That would be my art teacher and Gloria Wavamuno. Gloria has a way she turns art into wearable art and it’s envious. She’s amazing. My teacher of art because he always, “If it’s not challenging then it’s not right.” so you could paint till you became a pro and if you found it easy, you find something else to go for, like carpentry. I found it so hard to express how I felt through clothing, so I’m on the right track. Plus I love African fabric. It feels like another world altogether.
SU: Because you mentioned your teacher as an inspiration, I’m tempted to ask what schools you attended. Erika: I went to Greenhill from P2 to S4, after which I attended Greensteds in Kenya for my A level. This school gave me a whole other angle to life. That’s how I knew now was the time for me to start.One of the designs of Barika
SU: Have you had an Exhibition yet? Erika: Yes, we had a launch last year. It was a debut show on August 8th and we have participated in concurrent shows.
SU: And now the big question, Barika online. What is this that’s filling our news feed?
Erika: We currently don’t have premises so it has been hard trying to reach our clients. So we decided to go online. The plan is to have people be available to buy our products and have them delivered to them. Also to have a platform for other creative artists to work with us.
SU: WOW! I see you are powered by Code 256, what under the sun is that?
Erika: They are a brand that does branding and also have items for sale of their own. Under normal circumstances they would be my completion but they have supported me throughout this journey.
SU: Thank you very much Erika for your time during this very hectic period and last minute rush.
Erika: Anytime, thank you Showbiz Uganda for your time, it means a lot to me and Barika Fashion House.