Sandra’s Insights on Balancing Global Inspiration and Local Roots

Sandra’s Insights on Balancing Global Inspiration and Local Roots

The first quarter of this month was marked with travel and exposure, propelling me from the halls of Dar es Salaam International Academy (DIA) to the streets of Nairobi.  I had the opportunity to attend the Brazil Multi-Sectoral Trade Mission in Nairobi, which was organised by CECIEx right after wrapping up a talk at DIA being invited to attend the Career Fair at Dar es Salaam International Academy (DIA) as a distinguished and accomplished professional in the field of interior architecture design. The invitation was extended to me because DIA believed that my presence would provide valuable insight and guidance to their secondary students.


At DIA’s Career Fair, were the eager faces of secondary students who awaited insights into the world of interior design. And soon after, I found myself at the Brazil Multi-Sectoral Trade Mission, organised by CECIEx in Kenya, where I immersed myself in global commerce, discovering new potential project partnership opportunities for interior designers in Africa. 

These two events, though distinct in nature, converged upon a common theme of global opportunities and local engagement. As professionals, we are tasked with embracing international inspiration with local heritage to craft spaces that resonate with authenticity and purpose.

I personally find myself balancing between global inspiration while honouring my local roots in each project I undertake. At the heart of it all lies the pursuit of balance—the harmonious blend of the old and the new, the familiar and the innovative. It’s in this intersection where spaces come alive with meaning and purpose.

The Japanese concept of Ikigai resonates deeply with me—a guiding philosophy that speaks to the importance of finding passion, purpose, and fulfilment in our work and lives. It reminds me that true success lies not just in professional achievements, but in the meaningful connections we forge and the positive impact we make on others.

The concept of Ikigai was recently brought up to me again during a ten-month Women Creating Wealth (WCW) program that I am currently attending.  This program is an initiative of the Graça Machel Trust, aiming at igniting the personal and business growth of women entrepreneurs. It goes on to connect and inspire women to continue growing their businesses to overcome barriers, collaborate for mutual benefit and become influential leaders in business and communities.  

This sudden pop-up of the Ikigai concept served as a great motivation to forge on with my passion despite the inevitable challenges along the way.  It served as a reminder that nothing good comes easily, without effort and persistence.

Whether I’m engaging in global trade missions or participating in local community events or even advancing myself through trainings in professional practice and business growth, I’m reminded of the power of collaboration, partnership, and knowledge exchange. These occasions serve as reminders of the interconnectedness of our industry, the importance of sharing insights and ideas, and the value of nurturing the next generation of talent.

As I look ahead to the future, I urge the next generation of interior designers to remember that true fulfilment comes not just from what we do, but from the meaning we find in our work. Be guided by the principles of integrity, innovation, and purpose, knowing that each project is an opportunity to create something truly special—a reflection of who you are, where you come from, and what you aspire to be.

To book a consultation with Sandra call: +255 222772270, or email:, let’s collaborate to craft a space that tells your story.

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