Whenever I think of the phrase “Jack of all trades,” a few people come in mind, including one Leah Mugure Dittmann, another hardworking Kenyan lady living and working in Germany. Like many of us, Leah came to Germany about 15 years ago in search of a brighter future. Now, she is an enterprenuer with two businesses; Jambo African Dishes, a catering service for African food and Jambo Swagg (African Style) , a fashion label that transforms old clothes into something new with the use of African fabric.
Leah’s love for fashion design was ignited by a jumper she saw on the streets of Nairobi during a visit home. What looked like a normal jumper pimped up by some patches of Dashiki fabric, would be the start of a creative journey for Leah. She fell in love with the design. She was so inspired by that simple jumper that she decided to try it herself. Despite having no prior training in fashion, Leah was determined to follow her newly found joy. Through Youtube videos, she started to teach herself how to sow. She admits ruining every second pullover of her sons as she wanted to first practice with her own things. And just like that, Leah’s dream became into a reality. She is now a fully recognized designer, whose products have been presented on the runways of various social events across Germany. I myself, was lucky to have been dressed twice with her label, during events that I was hosting. “I turn old into gold,” says a proud Leah. At home, she has special room she calls “Dashiki room”, where she does her magic to turn ordinary garments into beautiful fashion statements.
So how does one come from designing clothes, to cooking food for sale?
Although Leah naturally loves to cook, she never thought that she would one day venture into catering. One day, a lady she was cleaning for asked her to help cook for some 25 guests she was hosting. This was a challenge Leah took without knowing the doors it would open. She received a positive feedback, and the entrepreneurship spirit in her kicked in once again. She took time to inform herself on how one can create a functioning catering service in Germany, after which she set off with her project. At the beginning, she had to give out food for free to show people what she can create, she also incurred various losses, but she never stopped. Leah never tires to thank her one of her former employer Devotim, an IT company, where her boss allowed her to do catering for her office every second week.
Her strong fighting spirit and the willingness to learn once again turned one of her hobbies into a business. Right now, Jambo African Dishes has gone viral, catering for various events, some even attended by hundreds of people. For such large crowds, Leah has a team to help her provide top notch catering services. This is without a doubt one of the many great stories you hear about the African diaspora in Europe. This is another great example where one brings what they love to life.
First fashion, then food. What next? Find out what this inspiring lady has in store for us in this amazing interview: