Urban Music People (UMP) has named The Netherlands based Mabel Banda-Khonje as this year’s recipient of Fashion Icon Award.
The Fashion Icon Award is given to individuals or entities who have made outstanding contributions to the growth of fashion and arts in Malawi.
Ken Zizwa, UMP Awards executive producer, said: “Mabel is a shining star of Malawi’s fashion game. Her style is refreshing, bold and uninhibited. We salute her ongoing achievements in Malawi and beyond.”
Based in The Netherlands, Mabel is a former Miss Malawi second princess, former Miss Malawi beauty pageant organiser as well as owner and founder of Doll Mabel fashion brand.
Currently, the brand has lipstick and Boudoir by Doll Mabel lingerie line.
Mabel is the first black woman to own and launch a lingerie line in The Netherlands and also the first person to launch a lingerie line in Malawi.
She said: “My biggest inspiration is my late mother. However, I am also inspired by women in businesses who have managed to change the game and own their brands. Influential women such as Rihanna and The Kardashians.
“Just like any other person starting their own business, it’s never easy. But, I would advise aspiring fashion designers and models to work hard and never give up.”
Hailing from Mitawa Village, Traditional Authority Tambala in Mayani, Dedza, Mabel Banda-Khonje was born on August 10 1983.
She did her primary school education at Alfred Beit International School in Harare, Zimbabwe before going to Lilongwe Girls Primary School. She later went to Dedza Girls Islamic Secondary School.
She also attended Malawi College of Accountancy and Varsity College in Pretoria, South Africa.
Mabel has an associates’ degree in public relations and applied communication from University of Wales.
Previous UMP Fashion Icon Awardees include Ben Wandawanda and Mary Chilima, wife to Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Meanwhile, nominations in other categories are still open until 20 November.
Powered by Chitoliro Productions, the UMP 2020 awards virtual ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, December 19.