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Meeting Themba Mbuyisa: South Africa’s Rising Star

The Incredibles

Themba Mbuyisa is a young brilliant photographer from Soweto who took up photography as a way to keep himself busy because he had the time and a creative eye. Photography was an impulsive decision for him and not having a camera was definitely not going to stop him from being a photographer, so he decided to enrol himself into a photography course. Themba does not believe that photography is set in stone for him. I mean, after 4 years in the industry, he’s still trying to figure himself out while not allowing ‘fame’ to get to his head. He is currently studying for his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the University of the Witwatersrand.

AFRICA RISING - ELLE SEPTEMBER

After entering Elle Magazine South Africa’s ‘ Elle Style Reporter’ for the second time after his first attempt in 2013, Themba finally won in 2016 and has been working with the magazine ever since. His win only registered in his mind when he did his first photo shoot, which he describes as being a great experience. The photographer’s creative process starts with a collage of images and notes that get revised until a clear picture comes up for the shoot. “I construct images,” he says. “My work has a thought process behind it and I decide what needs to be and how the lights need to shine on it.

StreetStyle for Ezpresso Show

StreetStyle for Ezpresso Show

Themba, who values friendship above most things, enjoys working with people who believed in him when he first started out in his career and works with young people in most of his shoots. Although he says that he does not have favourites, he especially loves working with Sthembiso Mngadi who has helped him transform his initial ideas into great images. 2017 for Themba is all about making connections and exploring other parts of photography that he has not given much attention to in the past while also putting himself out there by applying for exhibitions that he would not normally apply for. In April this year, the photographer is looking forward to being a part of the 32 nd Villa Noailles Hyeres Fashion and Photography Festival in France. 

Travel Issue - ELLE SA December

Travel Issue - ELLE SA December

Accolades:

Youth Excellence Award

Sony World Photographic Awards 3rd Place National Award (South Africa) 2015

Sasol New Signatures finalist 2016

Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans 2016

Prime Obsession for ELLE SA

Prime Obsession for ELLE SA

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Article originally published in Moon-Look Magazine

Bulbulia Threads In The Streets Of Johannesburg

I was first introduced to Bulbulia Threads on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg runway this August and I instantly fell in love with the brand and the amazing work done by Tasleem Bulbulia who has been in the fashion industry for over 20 years (If you ask me she does not look a day over 20). From the fashion week I loved how her show was styled, from headwraps to jackets over evening dresses. It all looked too cool. I was so thrilled when Tasleem granted me a chance to style her collection my way and I must say that I had fun playing a model for the day.

The moment I laid eyes on this pink shirt dress I was sold. For a girl who doesn’t like pink I really had fun wearing it with the colourful and very springy jacket. #ShirtDresses are the in thing and for me what was interesting was how I was gonna style it. I didn’t wanna go with the typical scandal or sneaker so I went for a high heeled ankle boot. The dress is really comfortable and I think Ghandi Square as a location really brought the STREET to my street style.

It made sense for these denim pants to be styled with my favourite printed jacket to make the look pop . I loved how comfy the pants are and the detailed buttons are everything.

Seeing this coat at the Bulbulia Threads studio meant that I just had to have it even though I was not sure how to style it. Thobeka and I decided to go with all black and just let the coat and headwrap stand out. This look made me feel like I was in a movie playing some superhero.

I really love this skirt. It is my second favourite  and wearing it was loads of fun. It is full and it really turned heads in Ghandi Square. It looks like I just walked out of some movie set and I own an upmarket penthouse in Johannesburg. I had fun playing a model and now I truly believe that I can be an actress because of all the roles that I played in this shoot.

These pants are everything. Tight at the bottom but a little loose at the top allowing you to be comfortable while looking stylish.

Now this is my favourite look. I love how the yellow pops and goes so well with my skin tone. I could not wait to get into this show stopper of a dress. We styled it with Maasai beads and a shuka to make it more dramatic.

Photographer: George Lewis

Co-styling: Thobeka Mbane

 

Tuelo Nguyuza Collectiv Bridal Range Brings A Spin To Traditional Wedding Dresses

© Jerri Mokgofe Photography-3

Collectiv Culture

Taking inspiration from the multiple cultures in South Africa, TN Collectiv’s bridal range Collectiv Culture caters for the western woman looking for a modern twist on traditional wedding dresses. Instead of creating looks that already exist, Collectiv Culture has taken what is currently available for brides looking for traditional wedding dresses and reinventing them by using different techniques, finishes and embellishments in order to introduce a new class of traditional wedding dresses. Without completely westernising the dresses, the core aesthetic for each culture was kept without compromising the traditional look so that they can be clearly translated, while staying true to the fashion needs for the modern bride. Part one of the range drew inspiration from the Ndebele, Xhosa, Tsonga, Swati, Zulu and Setswana cultures. Besides having a past working experiences with the all of the women in the bridal campaign, they are beautiful, hardworking and successful women in their own right. Making them the perfect embodiment of the brand and the ideal models for the campaign.

I feel like the collection was specifically made for these ladies as I cannot imagine another person wearing the wedding gowns that they are wearing. Before I was drawn to the dresses, I was first drawn to these ladies and felt that they belong in those dresses and nowhere else. I love that these wedding dresses have evolved with time but there are still embracing our cultures. I think it is safe to say that Africans are moving away from “White Wedding” and I love that. We are beautiful and our cultures are too beautiful, it really warms my heart to see fashion designers like Tuelo Nguyuza showing the African bride that they don’t need to walk down in a white wedding gown in order to be considered beautiful.

Photos by According to Jerri

Accessories: by NtoZinhle Accesorise

Couture D’Afrique by #MBFWJ And Puma Select

ADAMA PARIS

My favourite shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg was Couture D’Afrique which featured 12 designers from the rest of Africa. I truly enjoyed Senegalise fashion designer Adama Paris‘ show with amazing headwraps and layering like I have never seen before. I loved the patterns and the styling really represents the modern woman that the brand is aimed at. Seeing that collection made me want to get myself a gele and I can safely say that it was one of my favourite collections from the show.

SORAYA DA PIEDADE

Soraya Da Piedade a fashion brand from Angola caters for everyone from women to men to kids. I loved the simple yet sophisticated garments showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. The kind of woman who wears Soraya Da Piedade is a woman who knows and loves her body, the kind of woman who loves to look great and still feel comfortable and I feel that the collection at MBFWJ16 was comfortable and sophisticated.

SHERIA NGOWI

Tanzanian menswear brand Sheria Ngowi showed the most amazing suits. I loved the cuts and the choice of colours and the way the colours are mixed together to form a great looking suit. A suit doesn’t always have to be one colour, you need to switch it up and a decide on scandals instead of formal shoes. With this collection Sheria Ngowi showed that a tie doesn’t always have to accompany a suit and that sneakers also complements a suit very well.

CISS SAINT MOISE

What caught my attention about Ciss Saint Moise ‘s collection were the details on the suit. It seems details are what makes Ciss Saint Moise stand out and have always been a signature of the brand. The involvement of Puma brought a new perspective on suits and sneakers and I must say that I have always loved suits worn with sneakers and no ties because it does away with the serious look.

HAUTE BASO

Rwandan brand Haute Baso‘s collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg was casual and stylish. The kind of clothes  a woman would wear on a date, a family gathering and practically anywhere chilled. i love that you can play around with the garments til you get the kind of look that you want.

All photos by Simon Deiner for AFI

#MBFWJ: Colour By Nandi Mngoma And Inga Madyibi

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Nandi Mngoma and Inga Madyibi made their label debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg last night in Sandton. It truly was a great collection with lots of colour from the garments themselves and the choice of make-up. It’s a chilled back collection for a woman who loves to look great but still look simple. I loved the collection and the accessories complemented it very well. The Cleopatra inspired wigs were also highlight for many, especially me as I imagined what I would look like in one. It will be interesting to see Nandi and Inga grow as fashion designers because last night they certainly proved that they have the talent.

All photos by AFI

#MBFWJ : David Tlale Intern Ntando Ngwenya Stands Out in AfroFuturism Inspired Collection

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For the second time this year Intern By David Tlale had a show at Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Joburg and as always the six interns did not disappoint. Comparing their show in March to their show yesterday there was significant improvements and we all expected nothing but the best from them seeing that they are being taught by David Tlale one of Africa’s best designers. One designer who stood out for me was Ntando Ngwenya whose collection was inspired by  what he sees as AfroFuturism taking African fashion to the future.

This collection is the highlight of my creativity, staying away from the norm of basic clothing to architectural lines. – Ntando 

Ntando says he is taking African fashion to the future and there is a new approach to pattern engineering that he has discovered and that is the seamless front cut. He used sports luxe to put the message accross. The use of lipstick on the male models was simply to re-enforce that in the near future men will be more comfortable with wearing make-up and the beauty industry is also now making beauty products for men. After his internship Ntando plans to go back in to business and improving his brand . With what he has learnt he believes that he stands a chance to stand out in the fashion scene In South Africa.

All photos by AFI

Hauz Of Lenze: Enough Is My New Freedom

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Fashion Design label Hauz of Lenze has released their SS16/17 lookbook and it is all about celebrating women.
As the Spring /Summer season unravels.Hauz of Lenze apologetically tells a story about his SS16/17  collection for the women themed “Enough is my new freedom” he uses fashion to express a feeling or experience that many fear to speak about because of fear of loosing that someone or the ‘What if I told the world’ but on this journey we see how Hauz of Lenze’ uses fashion to mend that caged and broken heart..letting him or her know that there is still love and I mean genuine love out there. She finally finds true love and remarries as the story unfolds.

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The Poem

He shot the door and walked away leaving me bruised…

Shattered and naked.
My self-worth, loyalty was stripped off minute after minute

Until there was nothing left in my personality,

I was almost losing the meaning of being a woman,

My feminity had reached its expiry date.

I felt empty, trapped in a world I called love..

Yet I never forgot about that strong and great woman I was growing to become,

That powerful woman lived inside a soul that had been insulted, emotionally beaten, called worthless names,

Waiting for that day resurrection would knock on her caged soul and set it free

That day when the power of light will cause darkness to lose its dignity,

Then the light will shine through her soul ones again bringing her hope and believe for a better life and a new journey to endless possibilities …

Today I stand next to my possibilities

Because that strong and powerful woman has been reborn..

And saying “ENOUGH” to all these bruises is the only way my new strong,

Powerful me can be separated from the “Darkness” I was ones called

Don’t let loyalty become slavery, let your story inspire and change lives..
ENOUGH is My New FREEDOM

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Win Tickets To The Wedding Expo In Durban

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The Wedding Expo will be held at the Moses Mabhida Stadium from 6-7 August 2016. It promises to be the best event with a a varied selection of wedding essentials from only the best local suppliers. Brides-to be and their spouses are expected to flock Moses Mabhida hoping to get help in making their big day a huge success. As bride-to-be it is essential to know your budget and most importantly STICK to it, the Wedding Expo has a number of local exhibitors who will be showcasing their products that meet the requirements of brides with all sorts of budgets. The Expo has a fashion theatre which will now replace the traditional runway show, brides will able to see the gorgeous wedding gowns and get tips from designers and fashion experts regarding all the intimate details of the wedding gown, from fit to embellishments. Shopping for wedding essentials will never be the same, at the expo KWV Champagne will be served; What better way is there to shop?

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 I am giving away 5 Double tickets to 5 lucky people who are based in Durban.

To enter: Answer the question below and leave your email address on the comment section:

Where in Durban will the Wedding Expo be held?

UNILEVER BRIGHTFUTURE INVESTS IN THE FUTURE OF SOUTH AFRICAN SCHOOLCHILDREN

Stitched Panorama

Stitched Panorama

Unilever has reaffirmed its commitment to improve the lives of millions of South African children through a new integrated brightFuture Schools Programme. The company held an exhibition at Shine Studios in partnership with the creative trio I See A Different You.The exhibition displayed portraits of young schoolchildren from Carter, Skeen, Gordon, M.C Weiler and Emfundisweni Primary Schools in Alexandra, alongside drawings they had created of their dreams for the future. Their ambitions ranged from doctors and nurses to soccer players and astronauts.

Creative partners I See A Different You

The purpose of the exhibition was to raise awareness of the new brightFuture Schools Programme by highlighting how the ambitions of South African children are sometimes beyond their reach, due to circumstances out of their control, such as poor sanitation. I See a Different You are known for their distinctive style and optimistic portrayal of South African people and stories. Justice Mukheli from I See a Different You spoke about their work on the exhibition. “We thought this would just be another shoot, but when we started working with the kids, they really blew us away. They are so smart and so curious. They have such big ambitions. The experience reminded us of when we were young and encouraged us to stay youthful and inspired.”

Children from schools in Alexandra performed a skit to highlight the work Unilever is doing in their schools

Unilever currently has successful schools programmes running in hundreds of schools, using their brands with purpose, but these have never been integrated. To date, Domestos has reached over 480 000 South African school children through the “Cleaner Toilets, Brighter Future” and Germ-busters Club programmes.Lifebuoy’s ‘School of 5’ programme has reached over 2 million children and 10 million South Africans in total.
Now, the Unilever brightFuture Schools Programme will integrate these programmes as well as two others, to create one holistic offering, incorporating health and hygiene education and Maths skills.

Unilever Executive Vice President, Africa, Bruno Witvoet

Unilever South Africa Executive Vice President, Peter Cowan spoke about the importance of collective action within the Unilever brightFuture Schools Programme.
“Our vision is to create a bright future for all South Africans, reaching 15 million people by 2020. We can’t do that alone. Our partnerships with UNICEF and the Department of Basic Education will allow us to scale up the work we’ve been doing to address some major problems and create an even bigger impact. This is a watershed moment where we are all taking action to achieve real change.”

Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi addresses the audience

Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi who also attended the event, said, “Through this partnership, we welcome the commitment of Unilever and UNICEF in this endeavor. We need to do all we can to give young people the skills and education they need to reach their full potential. We know that many of our schools are having difficulty with sanitation issues and through these programmes, we can teach children good hygiene habits that will allow them to be at school and get the education they need.There must be no child in South Africa who can’t realize their dreams due to limitations that can be defeated.”

The brightFuture Schools Programme will start piloting in 31 schools in KZN, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo over the next five months. It will integrate the Domestos and Lifebuoy health and hygiene programmes, a new oral hygiene programme from Pepsodent and the popular Omo Smart Kids Maths programme. Children will complete a 21-day behavior change programme and will receive product and content to complete tasks at school and at home with their families. This broadens the reach of the education so that, ultimately this pilot has the potential to reach over 100 000 community members.

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Jenevieve Lyons Wows Fashion Lovers At #SAMW

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Jenevieve Lyons always leaves us talking after every show and last night’s show was no different. The LISOF graduate has sure came a long way since her AFI FastTrack days.  Her latest collection titled Deferential which she debuted last night at South African Menswear Week in Cape Town is all sorts of amazing. She says that the collection plays on the ugly, gender fluidity and juxtapositions. It is the new movement of anti “being”  and anti categorization. So basically the collection is about not being and my take on this is that it is not just for men but for women as well. I love the layers and her amazing skill with the cut-outs. It’s a true work of art and that green grass had me looking forward to summer. The garments allow for easy movements and are suitable for all kinds of weather. I love that the kind of person to wear a Jenevieve Lyons creation is one who cares about looking great and is not bothered about what people think is masculine or womanly. The contrast of the colours draws you in and when you thought that was the wow factor, the tailoring and the creativity with the belts and the layering gets you. This is my favourite collection from Jenevieve thus far and judging from the people’s reactions on social media, I am not the only one. Which is a good thing because as a designer your current collection should be better than your last and that is what Jenevieve Lyons has nailed to the T.

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All photos by SDR Photo