My name is Jacqueline Moyo and I am the founder of Borena Bana.
Borena Bana is a luxury kids’ clothing brand that looks to showcase the beauty of being bi-cultural.
I was born in Zimbabwe but raised in the UK; growing up I realised that the longer I stayed in the UK, the less I fit in with my Zimbabwean culture. This did not automatically mean I fit in with the British culture. Suddenly, I wasn’t Zimbabwean enough for my Zimbabwean friends and family, neither was I British enough.
I was confused and conflicted. I was not Zimbabwean enough
We would spend our summers in South Africa so we would not forget our culture and language. I spoke both Zimbabwean languages and some South African ones. But that was not enough. I remained not ‘Zimbabwean enough’. I went through high school, 6th form and university in the UK, again I was not ‘British enough’. I was confused and conflicted, I acted one way in school and another when at home. I spoke a certain way and tried my hardest to fit into both cultures. Nothing worked and I realised that people could tell I was not being authentic. Thus, began the identity crisis. I refused to go to Zimbabwe, it hurt too much being an outsider. I made friends with other Zimbabwean children in the diaspora and we created our own normal.
The very first shirt I cut up belonged to my dad
Throughout this time, I was sewing and sketching, trying out different designs and names. The very first shirt I cut up, belonged to my dad, I knew I wanted to create something new and different. Being at university opened my eyes up to other different cultures. I made friends with other Africans living in the diaspora and got a sense of normality. Then I realised something, our new ‘normal’ was our new culture. It took me a while to realise that people may have been trying to fit me into a box unknowingly. However, like many children brought to the diaspora by their parents, I fit into an entirely different box. I was the product of multiple cultures. I could either embrace who I had become or continue to hold on to my identity crisis. I loved all my countries. I enjoyed bits and pieces of each. Parts of me that were shaped by either of my countries and like it or not, I was both. So, I decided to embrace and show case the beauty of being bi-cultural, so Borena Bana (literal translation was born).
They were not at war with each other
I started by messing about with Ankara, shwe shwe and kente fabric in my clothes. I added the materials to blazers, skirts and skirts, trying to see what the combination of plain fabric and bold ‘African’ prints would look like. The more I combined different fabrics, the clearer my cultural identity became. There was no need in trying to fit in with my Zimbabwean culture. I will always be Zimbabwean. I did not have to try to fit in with my British counterparts either because I had already adopted the culture. As I stitched the fabrics together, I realised that they complimented each other. It was not forced, they naturally complimented each other. Just like my cultures, they were not at war with each other. It was not an either, or, situation; it was more of an advantage of having multiple cultures to pull from when going through life.
Borena Bana showcases the beauty of the “African” fabric and versatility of Western styles.
The apparel is for children aged between two to ten. I feel this is the age one takes in the most information. Borena Bana wants to equip parents with modern fashion that show cases the African continent as the fashion forward country. The colours, the texture and the style showcase the beauty of the continent and the influences of the West that can be embraced rather than rejected. This can be the first step to accepting the multiple cultures your child is growing up in without letting go of one to become more like the other. I chose to name the brand Borena Bana because little girls see Western princes and princesses, but the African continent has some too.
Borena Bana is the literal translation for Royal/Kingdom Kids, every child deserves to feel like royalty. I wanted the logo to reflect all that information, which was a big ask, but it worked!
So, each symbol and number has a meaning!
|1992||Is the year I was born|
|Heart||My last name is Moyo|
|Crown||Every child deserves to feel like royalty|
|2020||Borena Bana is a fashion forward company. We have perfect vision|
We want to contribute to changing Africa’s narrative.
We celebrate children being children, natural beauty and the creativity that was birthed in all of us. In January, I will be launching the clothing line, the invitations and ticket sells are going up within the next two weeks. Although Borena Bana is a business, there will be a foundation set up that benefits children in Zimbabwe who are in need school fees and supplies. Borena Bana Foundation hopes to educate 2 children during the first year. The reason for educating just two during the first year is that I want to make sure that all their needs are provided for. The Foundation will ensure they have the books they need, uniforms and everything that will enhance their learning. Getting all these supplies will ensure that the level of their education is raised and their quality of living improved. For those that cannot be helped by the Foundation, they will be highlighted on our platforms and signposted to other organisations that deal with the education sector. Some of the Foundation’s goals will be highlighted on the day of the launch.
The launch will be held in Leeds, at a contemporary venue called Lamberts Yard, 163 Lower Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6LY. The show will be during the day, starting at 13.30 until 16.00, you can follow us @borenabana on all social media platforms to get up to date information about the launch. Lambert Yard is a beautiful venue that fully compliments the collection.
There is less than 100 days left to the launch. My days are filled with emails, texts and phone calls, approaching sponsors, child models & their parents and the right ‘squad’ for the day. My team is an amazing group of millennials who not only think outside the box but push me to do the very best to ensure my dream is realised. The child models chosen are diverse in culture and ethnicity because both continents are melting pots of cultures. I am excited to showcase my first ever collection. None of the apparel will be revealed until the day of the show. On our social media platforms, the team and I will be introducing the different sponsors, models and people involved within the Borena Bana family. The countdown has unofficially begun, my team and I cannot wait to see you all on the day.
You can buy your tickets now at
After the challenge of becoming Miss Zimbabwe UK 2014, I am more than ready for yet another new challenge and I am inviting you to journey with me.
For more information please follow us on social media (@borenabana) and if you want to be involved with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.