How do you think your education has prepared you to work in the fashion industry?
I am more of a stylist than a fashion designer.
So, my education in African studies taught me to appreciate my uniqueness, my African-ness, my South Sudanese-ness. Hence as you can see my style is inspired by South Sudan and Africa in general.
Akuja can you please tell me what is the inspiration behind your current jewelry line up and design?
The line is inspired by ivory (in the old days), bone and horn, which are very popular among all the pastoralist communities across South Sudan. (Akuja made it clear she does not support the poaching of animals for ivory.)
What does embracing yourself as an African Woman mean to you? (during our conversation during the photo-shoot, you mentioned you went through a period where you questioned your skin and “what is beauty... (northern complex)”
The whole northern complex - which by the way, is not to blame the northerners in any way. It is a global complex about the politics of skin color. I mention “northern” because that is when I first experienced it. As a young girl, a teenager, there was this pressure to be lighter skin, because that was what was preferable - guys preferred that.