With great pride we would like to introduce our Ethiopian rep Taika, who we first met and worked with in Ethiopia on a project that took us across Africa. Witty, intelligent, highly amusing, and sarcastic as anything, Taika and Ruby got on straight away. Having stayed in touch over the years, we watched Taika grow from strength to strength, and it is our pleasure to welcome Taika back to the blog. Here you’ll find an introduction to Taika, who we’ll be hearing more from in the coming months.
RP: Ruby Pseudo
Ruby May you please introduce yourself?
Taika I am studying and working as a final year medical student, while interning as a medical doctor working under supervision at a tertiary government hospital. I am currently living at home with my mom, 24 going on 25, and currently working on a research paper. No research paper, no graduation.
Ruby What is the main thing brands seem to get wrong when marketing or advertising towards people your age?
Taika I live in a country where the aim is having a product to put to good use, a product that isn’t too expensive and can serve for an extended period of time. This holds true to those from all walks of life. The youth is still on the side of beauty, trend, and attitude like many all around the world. The problem with brands is that they hardly consider the social aspect of products in a country like mine. With their usual approach, brands might still attract an extremely insignificant portion of the society that loves all the posh, giving little thought to the factors stated.
Ruby What clichés and stereotypes would you like brands to stop using when they talk to you?
Taika I am me, and there is a reason I exist by myself. Yes, of course I am a social animal who will forever enjoy the interlaced relationship with my fellow human beings but that will never change ME. So brands, whenever I am doubting your product and am on the verge of moving on, please do not use the phrase, “It is what everyone is using.” Take just a few seconds to get to know who I am.
Ruby What brands have been in your life and stayed in your life over the last five years?
Taika My favourite leather shop feels like a family affair. They are honest, creative, and always coming up with ingenious ways to upgrade their products. Moreover, they accept their mistakes and fix them while they're making the products, rather than abandoning them during the process. Above all, they have the power to make me believe the products I choose are tailored to me, and only me.
Ruby Are there any brands that you used to trust/buy but now no longer interact with?
Taika I lose trust when brands lie! They lie, and not even the acceptable we are business people lie but a flat out north to south lie.
Ruby What is your relationship with social media?
Taika Mature. I use social media as a means of entertainment and as a source of information- not as a means to a creepy relationship filled with obsession.
Ruby What about your relationship with money?
Taika Mutual. We have an understanding that it is there be disseminated. It is not about how much money I have but rather about what I have done with it. That being said, traveling is my weak point.
Ruby And coming circling back, what about your relationship with yourself?
Taika WEIRD. It is weird in all the perfect possible ways!
Ruby If you could represent a big brand for a day and use your power to make a difference, what would you do?
Taika Educate! I believe it is the solution to all our problems. It is not only about going to school and achieving the highest possible honour but also having the mind and heart to learn more, to listen, to accept or tolerate, to forgive, to be an optimist and most importantly to love and respect.
Ruby What are the ways you try to personally make a difference in this world?
Taika By doing the best possible that I can and more! Sometimes it isn’t about aiming to influence those around me, though I still might unintentionally. I have something in me and I believe that more than anything. So wherever or whenever I am put in a certain path, I will follow it to the end. I will do my best and be my best version. Along the way, I will destroy and rebuild the world around me.
Ruby How do you feel when you think about the future?
Taika Good timing! At this moment I have never felt more uncertain about my future. You might say at 24, it isn’t a bad place to be at and that the future is in my hands. But seriously, all I see is....nothing, and extreme uncertainty.