July 7, 2020

Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Fights Against the Coronavirus with Fashion

In the Liberian capital of Monrovia, the government mandates that all citizens must wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) alumna, Thelma Teetee Ahamba, noticed that ill-fitting masks often forced people to touch their nose and mouth to adjust the masks. It gave her an idea. As founder of the fashion brand, Ahamba Clothing, Thelma knows that comfortable, well designed clothes make a big difference. Using her entrepreneurship, leadership, and business experience, Thelma came up with a more fitted and comfortable mask design that allows people to talk and breathe freely. 

Since April, Thelma’s team of six have supplied more than 2,000 masks to individuals, institutions, and communities through partnerships with Mandela Washington Fellows and others in both Liberia and the United States -- promoting brand awareness through community service! While the mask profit margins aren’t generous, Thelma says the publicity has been invaluable. Thelma and her team also believe that a properly designed mask will promote increased compliance with the government-mandated mask wearing safety precautions as well as attract customers. 

You can learn more about Thelma and her masks on Instagram at @ahamba_klothing. 

Great work, Thelma!