“I am a survivor, a warrior, a mother, and a dreamer.” These words capture the essence of a woman whose life has been defined by the resilience and the relentless pursuit of her dreams, despite overwhelming odds. Born in Soweto, South Africa, Juliet Makhapila’s childhood was marked by poverty and violence. Her parents were migrant workers, and her family struggled to make ends meet. Despite this, Juliet excelled academically and was determined to make a better life for herself.
But her dreams were almost derailed when she fell pregnant at the age of 17. Her boyfriend at the time abandoned her, and she was forced to drop out of school. Juliet was devastated, but she refused to let this setback define her.
Instead, she found work as a domestic worker and continued to study part-time. With the help of a scholarship, she eventually completed her high school education and went on to study social work at university.
After completing her studies, Juliet worked as a social worker in some of the most deprived communities in South Africa. She saw firsthand the impact of poverty, violence, and disease on families and communities. But she also saw the resilience and strength of the people she worked with.
It was during this time that Juliet’s dream of starting her own business began to take shape. She had always been passionate about fashion and design, and she saw an opportunity to create a brand that would empower women and celebrate African culture.
In 2015, Juliet launched her fashion label, Afro Amour. The brand combines traditional African fabrics and designs with modern styles, creating a unique and vibrant aesthetic. But more than that, Afro Amour is a brand with a purpose. Juliet employs women from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with training and skills to help them build a better life for themselves and their families.
Today, Juliet’s brand has become a success story, with customers from around the world embracing the unique and vibrant designs. But for Juliet, the success of Afro Amour is not just about the business. It’s about the women whose lives she has been able to impact.
“I want to show women that they can overcome adversity, that they can achieve their dreams,” Juliet says. “I want to be an example of what’s possible.”
Juliet’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and hope. Despite facing incredible adversity, she never gave up on her dreams. Instead, she used her experiences to inspire others and create a business that empowers women and celebrates African culture.