BULAWAYO fashion designer Mthobi Sibanda last week took his Indwangu by Umthobi clothing brand to the MTC Windhoek Fashion Week in Namibia.
The fashion showcase brought together different industry-related individuals such as fashion designers, Namibian and international brands, models, show producers, make-up artists, media, stylists, jewelry crafters and many fashion enthusiasts under one platform.
For Sibanda, the event was not only a networking opportunity to connect with international fashion designers and power African brands, but also a skills development platform.
The enthusiastic Sibanda told NewsDay Life & Style that he made the grade after having responded to a call for designers from across Africa from the Windhoek fashion week organisers.
“I was lucky to be among the selected African designers to showcase at the Windhoek fashion week in Namibia on Friday. I felt excited and grateful that in the short period of my career, I was chosen to represent my country in Namibia where I got to show the world how talented I am,” he noted.
“It was a humbling experience at a time when I had been nominated by the Bulawayo Arts Awards. It is encouraging and it pushes me to work hard and try harder to always be at the top of my game.”
Sibanda, who studied fashion designing and graduated in 2021, recalls that he was not the brightest student in class.
“I was the worst student, I was discouraged to a point where my teachers encouraged me to drop out and do something else, but I was persistent and knew what I wanted,” he noted.
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“I did my internship with Tapfumaneyi Munenge in Harare, then came back to Bulawayo as I wanted to be a couturist (a person that designs, makes, and sells expensive fashionable clothing) not to work at department stores.”
He added: “I also went to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I did another internship at Otsile Sefolo. While there, I worked with brides, people going to high fashion events and red carpets.”
After the internship in Mzansi, Sibanda came back home and launched his Indwangu by Umthobi brand.
Locally, Sibanda has worked with top socialites such as Madam Boss, dressed Doctor Bae, Sduduzo Mphoko, worked on red carpets and dressed brides.
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