Ba is from Conakry in Equatorial Guinea. He is 41 years old and a father of four kids who are living in Senegal with their mum.
This is Ba's story in his own words
My name is Ba, from Guinea. At the age of 15, I went to Senegal to study as a tailor, which has been my dream job since I was a young boy.
My father was already living in Senegal at that time, so he introduced me to a friend who was an amazing teacher, and turned me into a professional. I was still a young boy when my father died, and I went through a such sad and hard time. Since he was the one taking care of the family, and I was the elder son, I decided to go back to Guinea to help. It was a lot of responsibility for a young boy, but after some time I managed to open my own tailor shop. At the beginning it was just me, then things started getting better and I hired some employees. I was feeling so happy and proud of what I had achieved, so I decided to get married and have children. But I belong to the Fula ethnic group that is often discriminated against in my country, and as my shop started going better and better, I started to receive some threatening letters. One night someone broke in and stole three of my machines. It cost me a lot of money to fix the place, and I could only buy two machines, with the help of a friend who loaned me money.
But what put my life in real danger was the fact that a political party, the UFDG, came to my shop to make some t-shirts and flags. It seemed like I was taking part in the political campaign, and I became a target. Two weeks later my shop was burnt down over night, and I lost everything.
I came to Cyprus to save my life. I am happy to say that I'm safe now, and that I feel supported and protected. I am happy to be able to work as a tailor at the Dignity Centre, where I have found another family.
Thierno arrived in Cyprus in December 2018. He currently lives in an apartment with several other families, sharing a room with a friend. It is the only way to afford the cost of accommodation in Nicosia.
Thierno Ba is a Master Tailor and what he likes most about working at Sewing Space is the possibility of continuing a profession he loves.
Two people have been very influential in his life: his father and the teacher who taught him as a tailor. Both made him see the beauty of the profession, and always told him that if he had the possibility to teach others, he should not hesitate to do so.
When we ask Ba what the RefuMade Sewing Space means to him, his answer is "I feel free here". Here he feels respected as a person and as a professional. Ba likes the responsibility assigned to him and the always tries to do his best. He loves teaching RefuMade Sewing Co-Operative members.
He misses his children. The money he receives from RefuMade allows him to live
here and send money every two weeks to his family. He wants his children to grow up healthy and go to school, and he can afford that by sending the money to Senegal.
When he thinks about the future, he wants to bring his family here with him. Ba wants to have the legal status that allows him to go and see his family and come back to Nicosia again. Right now he likes to be here.
Thierno Ba's soul is in every item we design and make at RefuMade. Without him, it
won’t be impossible to carry this project forward. But aprons are something that he's always loved to design, changing pockets, adding ribbons….
“Ba, why do you like to make aprons?"
"Not only aprons, I like to make everything"
To View other Thierno Ba Aprons just click on the picture