Jude Dontoh is the founder of the contemporary streetwear line in Ghana, TRIBEOFGOD, which has been worn by the likes of Joey B, Pappy Kojo, and King Promise. The brand’s goal is to spread the gospel through fashion and has Christian messages and emblems infused in their pieces. Apart from founding TRIBEOFGOD, Jude is also the creative director for Joey’s B’s fashion label, Darryl fashion. Get to know more about Jude Dontoh as you read this interview.
Photo of Jude Dontoh
Ayeyi: Hey Jude. What’s good?
Jude: I’m blessed. Thanks for reaching out to me, I just went through most of your interviews. Awesome stuff.
Ayeyi: Ouu, thank you! I really appreciate it. For all of us who are curious, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Jude: Let’s see, I’m Ghanaian. I’m a petrochemical engineer, and I am also a certified Harvard entrepreneur in emerging economies. Grew up mostly in Takoradi. I have an obsession for sneakers and creativity and quite a number of people refer to me as the god of light.
Ayeyi: Eishh, god of light (laughs)…I see. So, how did your passion for fashion come about?
Jude: I’ve always been influenced by fashion immensely. I remember begging my parents to get me a few iconic pair of sneakers to rock to school when I was little. My family members usually got me designer clothes when I was little as well. I just grew to love it and decided to create something of my own. Hopefully a kid somewhere is tryna get my stuff to rock as well.
Ayeyi: I am pretty sure, considering how dope your stuff are.
Ayeyi: Your brand, TRIBEOFGOD, is a streetwear line. How would you define streetwear fashion?
Jude: Streetwear? I believe it’s a culture. I wouldn’t want to marginalize it with a definition; it’s such a broad spectrum. I’m just happy that I can contribute to it and have people take pride in what I make.
Ayeyi: And a distinctive part of the brand is the God factor. Why did you decide to center your brand on God?
Jude: Honestly, that was not the plan. I started a brand in 2013 called “Glatch” with a few of my friends but things were a little shaky, so it died, sadly. Then, two of my brothers and I, (not blood related), coming from very strong Christian families decided to try again with “TRIBEOFGOD” and here we are now. There’s a lot that God has done for me in particular and being to able to do something like this in His honor is a blessing.
Ayeyi: I agree that it certainly is a blessing. Now, TRIBEOFGOD has had quite a number of shows like “No Church in the Wild” and “The Wrap Up.” How do you conceptualize your shows and what is the process of successfully organizing them?
Jude: That takes a lot of planning. The team and I set out objectives and how to achieve them every year. A show simply put, is TRIBEOFGOD giving out a sermon. In detail, the brand is pushing a message or two per show. The messages, however, influence the designs, the color palettes, the theme and so on. This is me working on my summarizations (smirk).
Ayeyi: Ouuu that is fascinating. I’ve never thought of a fashion show and linked it to a sermon.
TRIBEOFGOD clothing at the “No Church in The Wild Show” ’18
Ayeyi: Apart from TRIBEOFGOD, another venture you have is 1990. What is 1990?
Jude: 1990 is a satellite entertainment channel on the media 7 platform, with coverage across all African countries. It is general knowledge that fashion and music co-exist beautifully. So I created a career from these two companies with the help of God and my family.
Ayeyi: And moving back to talk about fashion, how would you describe your aesthetic in three words?
Jude: Minimal, flexible, unique.
Ayeyi: Ouu…Nice. So, if you could go back to 2013, when you were starting TRIBEOFGOD, what advice would you give yourself?
Jude: Never give up. It will get tough. Then again nothing is easy, so don’t give up.
TRIBEOFGOD Signature Durags
Ayeyi: How does one purchase from Tribe of God?
Jude: Quite simple, contact any of our social media pages and inform us of what you’d want to purchase [@tribeofgod].
Ayeyi: And for my last question, can you please share your social media handles with us?
Jude: Twitter: @mrdontoh
Ayeyi: Jude, it’s been a pleasure having a chit-chat with you. All the best in all your endeavours. God bless.
Jude: The pleasure is mine. Thanks for having me. Bless.
Photo of Jude Dontoh