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Thursday, 8 November 2018

An Entrepreneur Leaves Brooklyn for Maryland & A Long-Awaited Dream

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Nasozi Kakembo and almost-10-year-old son Rafa Kalungi moved into their new home three short months ago, but their space already exudes their unique personalities and values through and through. That’s because, for Nasozi, moving from Brooklyn to her native Maryland represented more than just a transition for her and Rafa Kalungi; it was a profound shift for the two that’s been a long-sought-after dream in many ways. Nothing about embarking on this new journey was a quick decision.

“I am a creative social entrepreneur and communications expert who recently returned to my hometown after 12 years in Brooklyn,” Nasozi shares. “I have a son in elementary school, and despite having been raised here, returning as an adult and raising a Brooklyn kid in the suburbs has been quite an exercise! I am preoccupied by design and social justice, so everything I do informs one or the other, and occasionally both! We love to travel and have family all over the world.”

These travels and global connections are thoughtfully sprinkled throughout their 1,300-square-foot home, a two-story 1970s structure with three bedrooms and two bathrooms which Nasozi meticulously tracked down. This was to be her first-ever home purchase — and a much bigger space than the one-bedroom apartment they previously lived in — and she was prepared to make no concessions on their ideal home’s list of must-haves. “I loved this home as soon as I saw it online because it wasn’t cookie-cutter,” Nasozi recalls. “I had been scoping the market for many months before I was ready to buy, and most of the homes were your typical traditional layout with very little character. I studied architecture and planning in school, so I am very particular about how spaces are utilized and relate to one another. I don’t believe bigger is better by any stretch of the imagination, and I owe my décor solutions and creativity to living in small spaces with a growing child (and business) for so long. Plus the natural light in the home is phenomenal.”

Nasozi is endlessly creative and clever with DIY solutions and decor, a facet of her personality that leaves a lasting impression on their home. Each room is already so deeply personal in its design, despite their short time living there. Through family origins and heritage to artistic expression (like a striking bathroom feature wall painted in 10 minutes), Nasozi and Rafa Kalungi’s marks are already firmly made upon this home. But despite all the aesthetic makings of a home, the most important feature to this family is the community that surrounds them. “The city we live in was founded very unapologetically on principles of socio-economic diversity and equality,” Nasozi shares. “I grew up here, and even after spending 16 years away, it still feels the same. I didn’t grow up feeling or being treated like ‘a minority’ or an ‘other’ and I think that was crucial to how I navigated the world once I left for college and adulthood. Raising a Black child in America, this is priceless.” —Kelli

Photography by Nasozi Kakembo / @xnasozi

Image above: “I feel a tremendous sense of pride and inspiration every time I walk through the door,” Nasozi says. “I had to sacrifice a LOT to get to this point and work extremely hard. I feel like we finally have a home that fits our lifestyle, our personalities, and how we can grow in comfortably in the years to come. It just feels really good. I can also live out all of the décor fantasies I’ve been harboring since childhood. I always lived in rentals growing up, so we never truly got to put our personal touch on our living space to the extent that I can now.”



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