We first became aware of KOB Fabrik, when Tracy sent us an email informing us of her work. “I would like to introduce to you KOB Fabrik, an art studio developing innovative fabric concepts”, says Tracy Kobukindo, the 24 year old founder of this initiative. KOB Fabrik’s, recent nationally recognised design project features the fusion of fabric with a touch of class to create modern African interior decorations. Recycled wine bottles are transformed into flower vases or art inspired decorations.
Tracy who didn’t study art is at the moment working with a team of 3, in Kampala, Uganda and is trying to establish a market for the recycled bottles, after which she will start a mass production which she hopes will bring an extra source of income.
Who is Tracy Kobukindo and how did this project come about?
“I am a qualified nurse. I graduated last year with Bachelors degree in Nursing Science. I do so many things at the same time you that you would be lost for a title to give me. I paint, I am a fashion model, a project Co-Ordinator and head of a fundraising team at Kyaka II Refugee camp in Kyegegwa.
I started out doing the recycling project because I saw an abundance of wine bottles in Uganda. Uganda isn’t a wine producing country, so wine bottles present a challenge in disposing them. When I started, I had no idea it would be so big, in fact friends of mine asked me why I was making them and for whom? But by then I had about 40 bottles and 3 team members: Trevor, Terry & Florence with whom we were working (voluntarily). That was last year and come 1 year later it is a nationally recognised project with many offering to take part in it. The response has been overwhelming really.
What are your goals and plan for the future?
My goal now is not to employ workers, but to involve the people in the Angels Care Project in Kyaka II Refugee camp in the making of these pieces of decor and would like for them to also receive 20% of the profit.
The Angels Care Project was nun-funded when it started out in 2007. I came on board in 2012, and with the help of a good friend of mine SiegFried Kunz, organised funding from Germany. Since then I have supervised the implementation of the many other projects within this organisation. This organisation’s aim is to bring about self sustainability. This project has children (orphaned and non-orphaned), women and men refugees from Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya.
My aim is for KOB Fabrik to work with The Angels Care Project. At the moment, I am working with only one sewing machine and still establishing a market for the bottles but once it picks up, and the market is assured, this is what I want to do. The children, youths and adults in the Angels Care Project would benefit a lot from this partnership. They will not only gain skills but also tap into their own creativity. That is my goal, and I am getting closer and closer to realising it.
KOB Fabrik is planning a national exhibition this year (dates with held for now) until they get a few sponsors on board. KOB Fabric is on Facebook. Like their page for to keep up with updates on this project that is not only empowering children and the youth but also playing a part in keeping our environment clean.