After celebrating his 25th birthday in 2019, Brisbane man Didier Uyisenga fell asleep behind the wheel of his car and struck a telegraph pole. Pulled from the wreck by a good Samaritan, he was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to the hospital. His car was totaled, but Uyisenga walked away with only a bruised hand and a headache.
Although he was physically unhurt; the traumatic ordeal had thrown him into emotional turmoil.
“It took a long time to get out of it; it was pretty depressing,” he says.
A supportive friend reached out and gave him a book by Robert T. Kiyosaki called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The book covered the essentials for creating a successful business.
Uyisenga (far right in main picture) was captivated, ideas exploded like fireworks in his mind. As an avid gym junkie and personal trainer, he brainstormed brand concepts and drafted plans to get it off the ground. One idea that really stood out to him was an experience he had had three years prior, during one of his workout sessions.
“I was training for a [bodybuilding] competition and I had this cool shirt with words on it and when I sweated, the words became bolder against the fabric,” he says. “I started researching to see if businesses were doing a similar shirt design, but I found nothing. I started looking for supplies so I could make these shirts, and from there things started coming into play.”
Uyisenga called his brand Renaître, meaning reborn in French. His line features his trademarked, sweat-activated gym shirts which revealed hidden words, the more the wearer sweated. This was accomplished just five months after his accident. Uyisenga currently manages a small but loyal customer base and aims to globalise Renaître. He hopes those who don his fitness wear will be encouraged to constantly push their limits.
A Townsville customer shows off her sweat-activated shirt after a run up Castle Hill.
“When my customers wear the shirt, their mindsets shift, and they’ll know they’ve got to [workout] like they did the first time.”
He speaks with genuine humility and often draws on Kyosaki’s quotes, particularly “The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind”. Using this quote as a base, he learns to conduct his business with a purpose; everything has meaning, down to the proud eagle mascot featured on his logo.
“The eagle represents freedom and power. If you have the mental state of ‘I can do whatever I want and I can go wherever I want’, I think that’s the best mentality to have and the best way to explore more options than the average person.”
When asked if he’s received criticism from sceptics, he answers yes with fierce resilience in his voice.
“I don’t concern myself with their opinions because the more you dwell in that field, the more you let yourself down.”
Uyisenga speaks in frustration as he talks about the attitude of today’s youth.
“They lack motivation and discipline; they are on the same path I was on during my teenage years,” he says. “My little brother used to play XBOX games every day after school. Since he’s watched me and my brothers train, he’s taken it up and rarely games anymore. It may seem like a far-fetched idea, but I want to make an impact.”
Renaître’s eagle symbolises the power of freeing oneself from negative behaviours.
Renaître was set to host a 2020 bootcamp but had to postpone it to 2021 due to COVID-19. When it fires up next year, Uyisenga is determined to drive his participants with a holistic approach to achieve higher successes. This rebirth of attitude sits at the very heart of his brand.
“[Fitness] doesn’t jut give you a good body, it gives you tools to be more committed and competitive. It’s not just the physical aspect of running 10km or gaining a six-pack, it’s the mental aspect that’s most important.”
This article was originally written by Shavonne Hansell on June 2, 2020, and published in The Suncoast Times.