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Wazal: A Cameroonian Couture Inspired by Ghanaian and Nigerian Fashion

Ayissi Nga Joseph-Marie aka JJ DU STYLE is a fashion designer who creates very chic street wear. The French/Cameroonian designer whose father was a tailor, has decided to follow the footsteps of pioneer Cameroonian fashion designers such as Imane Ayissi and Martial Topolo by creating his own clothing line called ‘WAZAL’ which was launched in 2005.

In 2006, he launched his first designs which were worn by some celebrities such as Singuila, Alpeco, Wayne Beckford, Romaric Koffi and Lalcko. His brand “WAZAL” is a blend of  “WAZA”, the name of a natural park in the extreme north of Cameroon and the letter “L” which stands for Lion, the Cameroonian symbol. The natural park symbolizes respect, while the lion symbolizes power.
wazal

Wazal collection

Wazal Couture fashion universe expresses more of casual wear in a constant search of innovations, new styles and creativity. In the mixture of many various colors and prints, he adds and blends other materials such as pure cotton, denim jean, wax, leather, fur, synthetic, just to name a few.  He went through a professional training in Vanessa Ruiz fashion school in Paris and he later on specialized in creating tuxedo jackets. The first was thus created in 2013 under the declination “Tete fly.” In 2013, he was part of the guests of the Ambassador of Cameroon to Paris for the exhibition of the feast of the Cameroonian youth and the Fashion Night Lounge at the Elysee Palace in Paris, where he presented his three concepts: WazalRock, Fly Tété and Africafutur.
wazal

Wazal collection

These concepts are based on criteria which since the beginning symbolized his career: Daring, Respect and Creation. Wazal cuts and designs are impressive and modern.

 

wazal

Wazal collection

Latest Wazal Couture ‘Ova Tete’

The latest collection from Wazal called Ova Tété has been inspired by the dress codes of Ghanaians and Nigerians, for making the tunics, for the jackets, I took inspiration from Nike air raid shoes, and Sébago. Each creation at Wazal is story after I do a lot of research on the net to see what is trending. I dress men and women differently, each person has their morphology by making ready to wear, and high-end.

This collection is inspired by a Cameroonian slang ‘ova’ which means bigger and noble person. And Tété which refers to chic and bourgeois. In addition, the word chic here is used to describe the amazing and modern appearance of the clothings. Therefore those who have good taste and know how to dress well are characterized as chic. Noble and quality materials were used in this collection, including first choice wax (African print) from Senegal or Mali.
wazal

Wazal collection

Lessons in entrepreneurship

The first lesson for me is to stop listening too much to people who say everything is going on well, when in reality it is the opposite. Always believing myself and work to make the project or idea happen and God will do the rest.

SEE ALSO |  Rahmon Ojukotola: StartCredits Hopes to Save Nigerians Billions of Naira

Message for the next JJ Du Style

The message that I would give to my colleagues is, since we are in the era of evolutions of technologies and modernization, we have to seek the information to master the art, and believe in it, if not nobody will believe in you. The talent is not enough if you do not cultivate it.

My thanks to all that have ordered my creations from the beginning as well as journalists and bloggers who have followed me so far.


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An entrepreneurship enthusiast, who believes Africans and Africa can have accelerated development if a lot more of us embrace our God-giving talents and effect positive changes in our society.

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FOUNDERS

Rahmon Ojukotola: StartCredits Hopes to Save Nigerians Billions of Naira

High interest rates on loans are a barrier to growth and economic prosperity, which is why StartCredits has developed an innovative way for Nigerians to borrow quick online loans without collateral on its loan market comparison platform.

It is the aim of this fin-tech startup to help Nigerians access finance and save money by comparing loan providers. Rahmon, the Director of StartCredits is strategically growing this company to be the preferred loan market for a number of online borrowers.

Rahmon Ojukotola currently sits on the advisory board to the Florida schools group and previously worked at the Bank of England and UBS. Our startup founder, is also a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Royal Economic Society.

With these credentials, he surely has what it takes to lead the competitive loan market. Let’s find out what Rahmon has brought into the market and his life as an entrepreneur.

 

How is StartCredits disrupting the traditional borrowing in Africa as you suggest?

StartCredits is disrupting traditional borrowing, as our product provides transparency and increases competition in the market to reduce interest rates for qualified borrowers. It also provides a new channel for Nigerians to borrow money.

From your enviable background why did you decide to leave all that to start a startup in Nigeria?

I worked in investment banking and central banking for a number of years and gained a finance MSc from the London School of Economics and chartered qualifications in accounting, investments, securities and finance. I decided to build a startup in Nigeria because there were opportunities and issues that needed tackling, and I thought I had the right skill set to do so. So I gave up a well paying job and decided to come back to try and build something that would hopefully contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria.

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How unique are features of StartCredits?

We are the first and only business in Nigeria offering our services to all Nigerians who need loans. We have developed innovative proprietary risk models that accurately measure the borrowers probability of default. This improves our partner lenders’ ability to assess risk, and enables them to disperse more loans to qualified borrowers.

What has been the major achievement StartCredits has chalked since you commenced operation?

We have helped thousands of Nigerians to save millions of naira in interest rate so far and hope to save billions of naira in the coming years.

As much as people really need loans, Rahmon, what is your advice to stay out of debts?

My advice to Nigerians is to ensure you do not take out loans to fund lavish expenditures, loans should be used to finance good business plans. Also remember to budget for interest and other fees in any loans you do take, to stay out of debt. For more technical advice on debt management visit our website on http://startcredits.com

One of the notable features of your company is the stress on Data Science, how relevant is it?

Data science is at the heart of what we do at StartCredits. We utilise big data analytics to build innovative credits risk models, which help facilitate affordable lending to underserved qualified borrowers.

SEE ALSO |  Wanjo Foods: A Failed Idea Which Fights Back to Become a Juicy Business

What great challenge are you facing in running your startup?

It’s pretty much to do with the adoption of the technology. Technology in general is all about finding the best ways to do things. In certain industries it’s easier to have the incumbents accept that, whereas in finance, people have become entrenched in how they do things. It’s highly profitable, so there’s more resistance to changing a winning formula. Finance is highly resistant to change, but people are slowly starting to adapt as you’re seeing with Blockchain technology, which I think has the potential to revolutionize the finance industry. The banks are slowly coming around, but are still highly resistant to change given the nature of the business. In Nigeria, it’s mostly trying to get the people to use the technology. People are highly suspicious of new technologies, so it’s a bit of a challenge

How do you foresee this industry going into the future?

The lending market in Nigeria will be one driven primarily by digital lending in the future, as it is more efficient. I also feel we will continue the cultural tradition of thrift lending (Ajo, Esusu), as it fosters community cohesion.

Tell us which African entrepreneurs inspire you and why.

I think all African entrepreneurs that have built successful business in the face of significant challenges deserve commendation. Saying that I find Ola Orekunrin’s work saving lives with flying doctors to be truly inspiring to all Nigerians and especially young girls. She is a role model who shows them if they study and work hard they can have a significant impact on the lives of many in Nigeria.

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What financial advice can you share with fellow startup founders and aspiring entrepreneurs across Africa?

My advice to entrepreneurs across Africa is to make sure that everything you’re doing is simultaneously helping you achieve your goals and make profits as well. Don’t leverage too much and try not to grow too fast. Also, make sure that what you’re doing is what people want. The whole point of doing business is addressing the needs of society. So make sure you do your extensive research, go out and meet people to listen to what they’re saying, and make sure you have the right skill set to execute your plan. Once all of that is in place, you’re good to go.

Thank you, Rahmon!

To find out more about loan rates and the company, kindly visit startcredits.com.


If you want to share your experience as a startup founder on TSH to Africa, send a brief detail of your business to mystartup@thespiritedhub.com


Did you find this interview inspiring? Kindly leave us your comment.

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