“Education is one of the strongest tools one can have in order to create their own future but the girls are being under prioritized in the Maasai community,” Kondakis says. “Many Maasai families are not able to send all their children to school and as a result many Maasai girls end up looking after the life stock without getting a fair chance to create the life they want to live.”
Kondakis’s creations sometimes double as social commentary.
Maasai women are more likely to prioritize education of their children if they’re educated themselves, Kondakis adds. “By educating the girls we hope to start a positive butterfly effect that will result in more and more Maasai girls being educated in the future,” she says.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Kondakis’s creations sometimes double as social commentary. At the “Tribal Chic” show in Nairobi this past December, Kondakis unveiled “Second Life,” a bohemian-flavored collection stitched entirely from secondhand clothes. Imported from the United States and Europe by the ton, these castoffs are among the leading causes for East Africa’s shrinking textile market.
Kondakis’s motto? “Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open.”