If you step foot in Butare town, in Huye district, and you were looking for women’s and children’s wear, you would most likely end up being directed to the shop owned by Butare’s famous design and fashion sale’s woman- Nzamwita Athalie, alias ‘Mama Nadine’
In her 60’s, Athalie is visibly fashion designer in the way she looks, the jewelry ornaments and clothes she has on her body. She says that her business is driven by two things: her love for fashion and handling clients with special attention whenever the step in her shop- which is located on the first floor on the Butare shopping arcade.
Started her business in 2004, after being retired from the public service, and was lucky to have the opportunity of Duterimbere establishment in the district. She never gave up on life’s ambitions but instead to the direction of her life by the bull’s horn.
Athalie started her fashion business, on the day she joined the Duterimbere women’s self help groups in which each woman was given Rwf50.000- in these groups women put together their small loans in a single pool to run separate businesses, but made savings which later boosted the individual’s business.
With time, the business started growing and I become independent- and clients were many. I started getting my individual loans and repaid back as the business was growing. I have plans of getting a big loan of
Athalie’s shop has become the family name for most mothers in the town, and at least five customers check in her shop every 10 minutes. It is almost very hard for with a journalist to get a 15 minutes interview with her as she keeps a very close eye on her clients giving them the best customer care you can imagine in Rwanda
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