Fashion designer quits politics

FASHION designer James Pande has bared his soul, revealing his hazardous journey from being a hardcore street hustler as a foreign currency dealer in Harare to joining the harsh world of politics and his successes as a businessperson.

BY OWN CORRESPONDENT

James Pande

Pande, in an emotional Facebook post on Thursday, narrated to the youths the vagaries that young people face when they join politics, citing how he was abused by corrupt politicians under former President Robert Mugabe’s regime and warned youths to be wary of such political predators.

The Facebook post on Thursday attracted mixed reactions from his followers.

“Life has different stages, first I started as a hardcore street hustler, sometimes very harsh and violent. Then I went into politics as a follower, being used by other men; defending them even when you can see they are wrong; trying hard to be loyal to the game. Here I am today, just minding my own business,” Pande said.

He revealed that he was now concentrating on fending for his family through his businesses, warning the youths against engaging in political violence.

“It’s very easy to lose focus, trying to please individuals who don’t even recognise you and know you exist… learn to prioritise your family first before you think of dying for crooks disguised in suits as leaders.”

The Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs Youth Action (Zeya) president claimed in an interview with NewsDay Weekender yesterday that there were more windows of opportunity for youths in the new political era under President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

During Mugabe’s era, however, he launched a clothing line in honour of the former head of state.

Pande, said Zeya was completely disengaging from politics and its structures would soon be revamped to allow all youths from across the political divide to participate in empowerment projects offered by the pressure group.

“Our structures will soon be revamped to guide and give young people a chance to participate in the new era and we are completely disengaging from politics.”


He said Zeya was now focused on opening doors for the next generation and would be apolitical.

Pande who rose to fame as the brains behind the Hovhorosi Style — a clothing label popular among Zanu PF supporters for its workman-style overalls, punctuated with Mugabe’s signature, later joined other voices of dissent against the country’s corruption-ridden government.

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