"We inspire people to bloom out of their cocoon and be themselves in a world that is constantly trying to make them conform"
"We are as African as the music, the beat, the melody and the tune."
Our mission is to create a difference in the world. We want every individual to be proud of their race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender identity.
Co-Founder Marketing Manager
Co-Founder Graphic Designer
Bproud was founded by 18-year old Jospin Mugisha and his 20-year-old cousin Japhety Ngabireyimana. They are cousins who were born and raised in Kibondo, Tanzania. Their families are initially from Burundi, but the civil war forced them to move to refugee camps in Tanzania. They grew up hearing gunshots that rang through the night from the distant war. The houses had dirt floors with corrugated metal roofs. The bathrooms were outhouses 20 meters from the main house. It was about the size of a closet, and it contained a hole in the ground about 10 feet deep. The village had no electricity or running water, and the smell of cattle filled the air. Jospin's family moved to America after his mother was hospitalized during a robbery. Japhety's family followed one month later. Life in America was supposed to be a relief from war, but their families were thrown into a world of poverty, discrimination, and racism.
In Tanzania, they had no formal education; thus, they were already behind their peers academically when they started school in America, and they could not communicate with the teachers. They were placed in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes to learn English. Whenever they tried to speak in any of their courses outside the ESL class, they would always hear a chuckle. They were laughing at their accents. As they got older, the jokes became more aggressive. Every day at school, they would walk down the hall and hear, "African Booty Scratcher," "Go back to where you came from!," "you should've been a slave," "you're black as hell," "Do you eat at home?," "you live in a hut," and "Do you shower?". Their peers said that they were joking, but each joke made them hate their culture.
They wanted to lose all traces of their culture, tradition, and way of life. They didn't want to dress like an African; they didn't want to look, sound, or smell like an African anymore.
After high school, Jospin and Japhety finally gained the self-confidence to be proud of their culture. They refuse to allow the words of others to paint a picture of who they are, for they are as African as the music, the beat, the melody, and the tune. They decided to form Bproud because countless people have people belittled because of their race, gender, sexuality, or beliefs. Jospin and Japhety are proud of who they are, and they want to inspire others to feel the same way. Their goal is to create a brand that cares about its customers. Success to them isn't about selling thousands of clothes per month; success is saying that they changed their customers' lives for the better.