Now, imagine you are living at the AfroSpace Station in a future era. Your day to day life is peaceful and fulfilling. But there is one thing that still feels like a void. The culture and history of the many generations of your people who lived on planet Earth, back when it was habitable to live on the ground, is lost, or overwhelmingly distorted.
If only there was a way to warn those people back then that their actions would impact subsequent generations forever. Well, my squad and I found a way by traveling back to the year 2021, except the squad will only find out later why they were sent to stop it from happening. Oh, but here I go jumping ahead without sharing the full story. My apologies. I hope your head is not spinning. Time travel can be a bit challenging for first-timers. Let’s start with the story behind Bandele Muse.
I chose the name Bandele for two reasons. One, it is my grandmother’s name, Bandele. She made huge strides for women’s rights and home economics in Liberia. She also had an eye for style, where she and my mother created the fashion business Tie Dye & Co. They did not get a chance to scale that venture, but the daydream to open that project again is something they would reminisce about ever since I was a kid. My grandmother passed in 2008. This brand is a tribute to her and what she stood for.
Two, loosely translated, Bandele means “follow me home” in Yoruba. As a daughter of African immigrants, who grew up as a first-generation American, my sense of identity and home has been a constant intellectual and spiritual treasure hunt. Balancing multiple worlds lead me to my love for Afrofuturism, a space where I could feel I belong fully. My journey in developing an independent connection with Africa created an additional layer to my understanding of identity and home. The Africans in my family left home to avoid war and displaced economics. With the passage of time, I always wonder if that sacrifice will ever be repaid. The home they left behind no longer exists. The roots of their identity were not based solely on the location, but rather on the people who filled the place and their lives. There are only memories they can share with their children, who may never experience what that home was.
But, this is where the magic begins. That sense of home and identity must be carried within our hearts. Seeing past the destruction, abandonment, disappointment, and loss. Returning to heal and plant new seeds. Thus, this brand is a safe space to cultivate that sense of home and identity externally and internally. To pay homage to the past, heal the present, and plant seeds for a future Africa and world that is safe, wholesome, and free.