Fatima Kourouma is the founder and designer of Mayhyeli.
Fatima grew up in Cote D’Ivoire in West Africa where clothing is a strong expression of cultural identity. When she moved to the U.S. in 2003, Fatima felt home sick, had a hard time acculturating and was unable to communicate because she didn’t speak English. She spoke only Mandingo and French. To cope with the stress of living in a new country and being unable to navigate on her own, Fatima started using her creativity and fashion sense by mixing original African prints with western materials to create outfits and accessories. This helped her relax more and feel closer to Africa.
In addition to MAHYELI, Fatima is a social professional with experience managing international programs in both Africa and the USA. Her fields of expertise are child welfare, education for all children, gender-based violence, Female genital mutilation or cutting, immigrant & refugees, trauma and recovery.
Fatima’s passion for fashion and her love for community empowerment inspired her to be a fashion designer and social service provider. By combining the two, Fatima now is doing what she loves while simultaneously expressing her creativity and giving back to her community.
Fatima Kourouma holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She also attended the Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program from Harvard Medical School.