In this heart to heart with Ouma Tema, we discover how this beautiful, confident PluFab woman discovered her talent for designing clothes for plus sized women. This passionate and dynamic business woman has taken it upon herself to help redefine ideas of beauty by making a BOLD statement.
Inside Woman: Please share your testimony of how you came to know Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour?
Ouma Tema: I grew up in a Christian home and my mom is a praying woman. God has been in my life for as long as I can remember. In life sometimes you lose your way or your faith is shaken, but to this day He (God) still loves me and I am his favourite daughter.
Inside Woman: There are so many religions out there. Why Christianity?
Ouma Tema I found rest and peace of mind.
Inside Woman: How has the journey been for you?
Ouma Tema: It has not been easy but worth holding on. God’s mercy and grace is what kept and still keeps me going. He still love me :-)
Inside Woman: Do you think that it’s difficult to be a Christian in our age?
Ouma Tema: No, not when you know and understand the following:
1. That Jesus died for you
2. That he knew you before you were born
3. That his plans are not to harm you but prosper you
4. That it is not because of your own doing but by His grace and mercy
Relationship with your creator has nothing to do with the times in our lives. He is still faithful in this day and age as He was back then.
Inside Woman: With your busy life, how do you keep yourself grounded in God’s love and mercy?
Ouma Tema: I was blessed with a loving and supporting spiritual sister (Sister Morwesi) who I can call or visit any time when I am in need of scriptures or just words of encouragement. I have an open door policy with my pastor (Pastor Samuel Orefuwa: Word of Faith Ministries), this helps me to stay grounded and not to lose sight of Gods favour.
Inside Woman: You exude a lot of confidence. Have you always been like this?
Ouma Tema: I always strived to find peace in me. I am humbled it shows and you can recognize, thank you.
Inside Woman: When you were younger did you have weight issues?
Ouma Tema: My issues was that, when we went shopping ….my mom will get into the store and ask any sales person she come across that she is looking for the biggest size for me. It was never about looking good but getting something that fit. My shopping days were not so fun and I guess it always registered in my mind that I was Pretty Hot And Thick/Tempting (PHAT) J.
Inside Woman: How was PlusFab brand birthed?
Ouma Tema: Plus-Fab was born out of a struggle. I personally struggled to get clothes that spoke to a young fabulous me. I launched Plus-Fab to close that gap. Plus-size women deserve to look fabulous too.
Inside Woman: How long did God prepare you for this assignment?
Ouma Tema: God planted this idea when I was in high school and He re-emphasized it when I was at tertiary (I was always mistaken for a fashion designer student). I did not take all of that seriously until 2006 when God drew me closer to Him. I lost my job, my friends and I was left with my family and God. Before then my life was on a roll. I had a paying job and I could afford to go out when I wanted to. I also could afford to buy 5 pairs of shoes at a go. Life was awesome but I forgot to be grateful.
That period helped me to reconnect with my Creator. A lot of things were revealed and Plus-Fab was one of the projects God wanted me to take on. In 2010 that’s when I registered the brand and worked on the brand ID then launched everything in 2011. A year and few months later, I can stand here and confirm that I saw God’s favour in everything I did. He blessed me still.
Inside Woman: Do you feel like you've become a role model for big women? Is that something you want to be known for?
Ouma Tema: You don’t’ choose certain roles for yourself in your life and I think being a role model for big women is one role I did not choose for myself. Be that as it may, I want to be known as a child of God who lived her life to the fullest with grace regardless.
Inside Woman: How do we build up lasting self-worth in young women?
Ouma Tema: We need to teach our young women the importance of self love. Nothing will be fulfilling if you don’t love yourself from inside out.
Inside Woman: Do you have someone who models biblical womanhood for you in your life?
Ouma Tema: My mom….
Inside Woman: Should Christian women be fashionable?
Ouma Tema: Why not, fashion celebrate Gods creature. I see nothing wrong.
Inside Woman: What is your view on how women of God should dress? And is this still an issue that needs to be addressed? And how do we go about doing it?
Ouma Tema: They say with power comes responsibility. A woman of God has the power to decide how she dresses on earth. With that power she has the responsibility have the responsibility to honour God. People differ and their taste in fashion differs too……prescribing what to wear will not solve the problem. I honestly think we need to emphasize on the responsibility one has to honour God in everything they do including how they dress up. That in-depth understanding will help a great deal.
Inside Woman: We are continuously bombarded with images in fashion and the media that give us unrealistic expectations about their looks and their bodies. Why do you think we allow these negative messages to have more power over us than the positive ones we receive?
Ouma Tema: The beauty about life is choice, nothing just happens. If we feed into the images of fashion in the media, it will be the gospel truth for us but if we seek the truth and reveal it to our people, it will liberate our people and they will see the light. You see, people consume what they see in themselves and we have the responsibility to evangelize the truth.
Inside Woman: As Christian women we spend a lot of our time trying to improve ourselves. Why do you think it is so hard for us to understand that God does want us to love and accept ourselves?
Ouma Tema: My pastor always emphasize on this scripture: Proverbs 3:1-8. Your understanding of this scripture will help you accept and make peace with a lot of things in your life.
Inside Woman: What do you think God expects from us regarding our attitudes toward our body images?
Ouma Tema: Your body is the temple of God, respect and honour it the best way you know how. God’s spirit dwell in us and it will sure guide us. The problem starts when we fail to stop/pause and listen to His guidance.
Inside Woman: How does what you do lead the ways to winning souls for Jesus?
Ouma Tema: My life is a testimony, winning souls has never been this easier….I have proof.
Inside Woman: I’ve heard many people say, “I wish I met Jesus before I met Christians”. What advice would you give someone who’s trying to open up to God but feels that Christians are judgemental hypocrites?
Ouma Tema: I don’t think you can meet Christians before Jesus the Son of God. God would have chosen you; you will walk in a path created for you by him to meet people who you will fellowship with. Honestly everyone can be judgemental……find peace in your truth. Your relationship with God is not via fellow Christians.
Inside Woman: There are so many scandals in the Church today. For you, what is your personal accountability structure?
Ouma Tema: I choose not to enter into any Church politics. Pastors, elders of the Church and worshipers too will be judged the same way as all of us in heaven.
Inside Woman: Being in the spotlight only adds to the role model position that you find yourself in. Obviously, that can come with some pressure. How do you deal with that?
Ouma Tema: I always remember my craft in the industry. I am not just known, I own a fashion line for fuller figured women called Plus-Fab *not just the right size*.
Inside Woman: Many people don’t recognize who God is, and don’t truly value the relationship with Him. What would you tell someone reading this who isn’t sold out for Christ?
Ouma Tema: I have found him to be the only one worthy of my praises. My life and everything about it is a true reflection of God at work. Romans 15; 18-22 should help you hear my cry.
Inside Woman: So, when you're at the high profiled parties how do you reconcile that with your faith?
Ouma Tema: No man is an ireland, platforms like Durban July celebrate fashion and I am in the fashion business. Going to industry parties like that does not make me any less of a Christian. Like I said, your relationship with your God is not via anyone including those who may judge you on the face of the earth.
Inside Woman: What’s your favourite scripture in the Bible and why?
Ouma Tema: Mark 11:24-25. It sums up everything FAITH.
Inside Woman: When you are not working or attending a function, what do you do during your “me” time?
Ouma Tema: I have not had “me” time in a while. Given a chance, I always want to catch up on my reading and hang out with my friends and family.
Inside Woman: Do you have any words of encouragement for women who are dealing with depression and feeling hopeless?
Ouma Tema: He is faithful. His timing is perfect and He is never late…….trust in him and keep on holding on. I say this to you having gone through the same or maybe worse situations at one point in my life. I am a living testimony. May exodus 33:14 give you peace of mind knowing that “his presence will go with you and he will give you rest”.
Inside Woman: Where do you feel God leading you?
Ouma Tema: He has been blessing me in this journey of restoring confidence in plus sized women, I see more roles in the same field. I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me.
Women indeed of our services can contact us from:
Official website: www.plus-fab.com
Official Facebook page: Ouma Tema at Plus Fab (like our page)
Official twitter handle: @oumatema (follow us)