Four Malawian designers are set to sashay their creations in South Africa, following their invitation to the Tshwane Fashion Festival.
Tawire Kumsinda of Tazma Designs, Christopher Ngalu and Christie Banda of Designs by Christie were scouted by organisers of one of the best fashion events in South Africa last year when the three rocked the Mzuzu Fashion Week (MzFW) ramp, while Nellie Donga has been invited having impressed organisers of a sister event last year.
The fashion festival is all about bringing designers from all over the world to celebrate one of the most iconic eras in fashion and is hosted in Tshwane province, particularly Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa.
Those conmen, who literally swindle the country in the name of chasing an empty piece of leather, are back on song—wanting you and I to offer them about K150 million to make a losing trip to Guinea for a fixture that points to the same old story of wasted funds.
Forget the pot bellied politicians who burn your money, jet fuel and time hopping from one place to another, doing nothing to enhance the standing of the country and Malawians’ good name on the world stage.
Talk about the good music that severally persuade the international press—the BBC, The Guardian, New
York Times, Washington Post, The Telegraph and other mastheads that matter—to tell the world that Malawi has got the vibe.
For once, the world press took a break from their portrayals of Malawi as a hugely impoverished nation where US pop diva Madonna adopted a boy and a girl.
They were not talking about a country they love to hate as a paragon of corruption, mismanagement and all the pilfering that has gone into history as Cashgate.
They were talking about music, the scintillating sounds from the country’s largest maximum music.
The country might have incarcerated the inmates for crossing the line in terms of criminal and penal law, but it couldn’t contain their magical voice.
The un-muted voices went all the way, reverberating in all corners of the world where the Grammies represent the very best of the world of music.
The inmates did what no career musician has ever done, becoming the first Malawian group to be nominated for the topmost awards since Scottish missionary explorer Dr David Livingstone docked on these shores in 1859.
This is another story of music, a poorly funded industry which absorbs the massive number of young Malawians escaping huge unemployment in the country, scaling the heights that the filthy financed nothings, including politics and football, can only envy.
This a wake-up call for policymakers to start treating the creative sector with the seriousness it deserves. [/caption]
“The event gives a chance to designers from over 20 countries to come together and celebrate fashion. The event has previously attracted top designers like Mary Martin London from Britain, Ester Eldoti from Ghana, Martin Mokiwa from Tanzania, Gazibo from Swaziland, Nicole Rob from Botswana with other from Zambia.
“Many others will be also part of this event in April from 15 to 16. This is a big event and will be aired on Africa magic, SABC 2, ED channel 190 on Dstv and other international TV stations.
“We have sported other designers in Malawi like Nelly Donga who participated in RVK fashion week last year. As part of her prize for impressing us during the event and three other best designers from Mzuzu Fashion Week to be part of this event in South Africa. This will not only put Malawi on the map, but also having these designers representing Malawi at this event it’s a good exposure for them,” said event’s co-founder, Bongani Tambo.
Donga, founder and owner of Nels Secret Possessions participated in the RVK Fashion Week last September Pretoria as well.
“From our previous event we selected three designers and three models to attend the Mercedes-Benz fashion event in Accra, Ghana in May this year, which is one of the best events in Africa with 40 countries attending. Nelly Donga was also selected to be representing Malawi at this event. This means that she will participate at both events,” said Tambo.
From a pool of 20 designers from different parts of the continent mainly southern Africa, she and two other top designers were selected to go to Ghana.
However, the four designers will have to meet costs of travel to and from South Africa.
“I was shocked to find out that these designers they struggle to get sponsorship like air ticket and so, companies that wishes well can always support them. Once in South Africa, as organisers, we meet all the costs,” he said.
First time to showcase outside Malawi, the news has brought mixed feelings to Banda.
“Its exciting, as it is something I have dreamt about since I was a little girl. At the same time, it puts a lot of pressure on me because now I am moving away from representing Mzuzu Fashion week to flying the flag higher on behalf of Malawi. One has to be mindful of his or her collection. It has to be a true reflection of your country not just a city or region.
“The showcase is bigger not only in terms of audience, but getting internationally recognised. So now you have to make sure your designs are sleek and clean and off the hook. Now you have to think bigger because you are taking a wider platform. And that puts the pressure on you,” she said.
Banda has not been in fashion designing for long with the first ever fashion week in the northern city as a platform that launched her career.
“I have been in this for just a year or so. That’s when I started getting designs out there for people to buy. But I grew up in a family of dress makers and tailors, my mom, my aunties and my older siblings, so the desire to design has always been there taking after them. n