Princess Evelyn: The Fashionprenuer Curating African Fashion For Global Consumers
Princess Evelyn Bright is a vivacious, gorgeous, mother, wife, entrepreneur and activist. The multi-talented princess tried out her hand briefly at journalism, teaching, aviation and as a stay home mother, before discovering her one true passion; fashion.
Hailing from Tooro’s royal lineage, the designer was born to Bright Godfrey Mpunga, (a grandson of Her Royal Highness Princess Akiiki Komuntale and Prince Jubiri Mpunga) and Marjorie Kasamba.
Where most people see the need for government intervention Bright sees nothing but inspiration. In 2010, the pragmatic fashionprenuer founded Levyn Africa, an organization leading in the preservation and promotion of African fashion.
What does fashion means to you?
Fashion is a portrayal of one’s identity, taste, dreams and aspirations. It is a non-verbal communication and artistic expression of who we think we are and what we stand for. Through fashion we are able to tell our stories and celebrate our cultural values. This is exactly what we are doing at Levyn Africa; repackaging our indigenous fashion for the global consumers. Our fashion line explores unity, power, quality and tradition.
How did you get here?
Honestly by just putting one foot in front of the other to ensure that today is better than yesterday for my team and I. Turning this dream into reality like any other dream does come at a cost both financially and emotionally but where there is a will, there is always a way.
But above all I know it has been God’s grace. I am not a conventional Christian who goes to church regularly but I have a very close relationship with God so I reach out to Him whenever I feel unable to cope. He is still in the business of raising those down on their knees you know.
What does success mean to you?
To me success is the accomplishment of one’s goals. It does not matter whether the goal is big or small.
What are some of the best moments of your life?
The times I spend with my children and family definitely outrank any. I often feel enraged when people prefix the words like “mere” and “just” to housewives. There is nothing about motherhood or being a wife that is simple! Being a mother and a wife is very demanding and draining physically, emotionally, mentally and financially but it’s also the most rewarding thing I have ever done.
Who are your biggest influences?
Without a doubt my biggest influence is Ugandan lawyer, politician, diplomat, model and actress Princess Elizabeth Bagaaya. Her exploits paved way for many African girls and inspired us to dream beyond our physical boundaries. I also borrow so much from my sister Elizabeth Muller’s inspired taste and style. I try to emulate her business skills as well but I am obviously yet to master the art. I was introduced to the Pan-African ideals of freedom, development, unity and peace by Margaret Muhanga and Mike Mugiisa the politically astute, open minded, fun loving but aggressive strong leaders of my land Tooro, at a young age but it changed my life.
Call to arms
Uganda and Africa at large have the potential to lead and dominate world fashion if nurtured properly. I have interacted with policy makers from across the continent and I am shocked by the disregard with which they treat the fashion industry. They are more interested in hearing about new technology, what they are not aware of is that these two complement each other.
Their attitude made my convictions that Africa’s growth lies in the hands of its women and youth even stronger. I therefore call upon every one to do something today that will make our motherland better tomorrow.