AFTER realising the need to recognise the physically-challenged in Zimbabwe’s fashion industry, a Chinhoyi University Clothing Fashion student Tendai Mazodze recently hosted a special exhibition for the handicapped titled “Fashion Chance” at The City Bowling Club Hall, Harare.
Report by Tinashe Sibanda Entertainment Reporter
During the official launch of the exhibition, which was in partial fullfilment of her coursework, Mazodze showcased her special adaptive clothing range, “Mandipa”, for the physically-challenged people confined to the wheelchair.
The 24-year-old proved that the handicapped could like any other person wear what they wanted showing great artistic dexterity and sheer innovation.
“My fashion line is called Mandipa because it’s a God-given talent which I tried to run away from for a long time to no avail,” Mazodze said.
She said she was inspired by a great desire to quench her enthusiasm of understanding the lives of physically-challenged people realising that the majority of fashion designers targeted the curvy and slim people.
Her designs include a lot of comfort features like the padded jeans, trousers with side openings and leg supporters for men and ladies outfit with complete back openings for the paralysed among others.
“Tendai’s collection has gone a long way in pointing the nation to an area that has been overlooked for a very long time by fashion designers and clothing manufacturing companies in Zimbabwe,” said Youth Advisory Board chairman, Gift-Rowdy Mabhaudhi at the launch.
Mabhaudhi said there was need for a foundation of physical disabilities and the life of the people in general in order to meet their clothing needs which cater for both purposes of fashion and functionality.
He said the exhibition was a first to future fashion shows for physically-challenged people in Zimbabwe.
“This is exciting, we felt so recognised because a lot of times we go unnoticed. She even inquired from us before making the outfits and this is special for us,” said Bright Kadengu, a member of Selbourn, a singing group that also attended the launch.
Youth Advirsory Board secretary Simba Mumbengegwi also commended Chinhoyi University for supporting such initiatives and grooming responsible citizens in the country.