• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

‘Consistency, improvement and more consistency, key to success’ - Mokubong

By Khuthala Nandipha

Aspiring and practising Eastern Cape fashion designers have been receiving a lot of attention, training and schooling from international fashions experts since October 2019.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Two days before the long-awaited 4th annual Buyel’Ekhaya Fashion Show, Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho; the only designer to have a collection carried by H&M internationally; gave life-lasting advice to local designers via a workshop held at the Hemingways Mall on Wednesday.

The fashion show will be at 6pm on Friday, December 13, 2019 at the rooftop of the Vincent Mall. Ten local emerging designers were selected from the development programme to showcase in this professional show for the first time.

They are Wendy Nortey, Sinalo Tshaya, Gcaleka Thobile, Khema Akhonke, Holoholo Avumile, Sikhabeu Vuyiswa, Lindokuhle Monjane, Cebolenkosi Shibe, Yakhuxolo Mvambo and Zalisile Stuurman.

Mokubung advised that the learning phase can take anything from three to ten years.

“Grind, pace yourself nicely, you will know what to make, what people like. Own your space even when you feel like you don’t know enough. Consistency, consistency, consistency is key.”

“Just keep going, do what you know, do what you are good at, it does not matter who you lose, you have money or not, consistency. It does not matter whether life changes, you get married, it doesn’t matter if you get the big break or they start noticing you, and want you, be consistence,” she emphasised.

She added that as an artist, one is driven by their heart, talent and instincts. She insists that you have to use that, listen to yourself, trust yourself, your individuality and your own journey.

“Market yourself, enter competitions you may win or just get recognised, do not get pressured by the hype on social media, do what you have always believed in,” said Mokubong.

Mokubung has been in the fashion industry for close to two decades, starting off as a designer for Stoned Cherrie. It is only in recent years that her label has become a household name, forging relations with the world’s best labels.

Nomahlubi Mazwai, founder of Buyel’Ekhaya says as fun and fabulous as the music and fashion are, the festival is crucial as it has extensive socio-economic benefits for the region, which is why she also focused on developmental workshops for locals in order to ensure various demand-supply gaps in the creative arts industries are narrowed.

“East London’s human capital has the capacity and capability to service tourists and other important stakeholders at all times," said Mazwai.

"The purpose of the showcase is to create a platform for exposure of emerging Eastern Cape designers through the power of association with renowned brands as well as to complete holistic developmental experience for them, providing critical experience.” Says Mazwai.

The Pan African Festival also celebrates all that is African, contributing to the maintenance of cultural heritage and diversity.


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