"If I had superpowers, I’d go back and tell my younger self that everything is possible. You can do it! Things will change."
I’m Dennis Okwera.
I am model, I build things, I act. I am also a bio-scientist and have fled countless times from rebels in my home country. It was often my grandmother who gave me a piggyback and took me to safety.
I was born in northern Uganda.
My father, my brother and I fled to the UK to safety when I was eleven. When we arrived there, it was bitterly cold and we were practically homeless, but I was thankful to still be alive.
I still remember my life in Uganda really well. It was really hard to leave friends and family behind there, without being able to make sure that they were safe. I sent them clothes, masks and sanitary products for the girls and set up my own charity organisation - the Lumule Foundation - that is the name of my community back home.
Can you imagine, I bought all the sanitary products I could get at night in the supermarket and sent them all to my loved ones. “They were the best things you’ve ever sent”, said my aunt. They allowed the girls to go to school, enjoy an education and not run the risk of being married off far too early.
I dream of opening an eco retreat, with a solid community and a school for the children. They need a safe place where they can talk openly. Mental health is massively important and it costs nothing to be nice and friendly.
I realised I could really make a difference with my work. Fashion has such great power. I passionately communicate where I’ve come from and I’m proud of what I can achieve, something I’ve always dreamed of.
People can change themselves and we can improve so much for this planet. This wonderful earth that we have taken for granted for so many years.
I believe in perseverance.
No matter how many times I fall, I always get back up again and carry on.
Let’s tell the story anew."