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Designer stars at South Africa festival

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One of the country’s fashion designer Nellie Donga over the weekend showcased her designs at the two-day Tshwane Fashion Festival in Pretoria, South Africa.

The festival took place on Friday and Saturday with Donga showcasing her designs during the main event on Saturday.

With her brand name Bells Secret Possession, the Lilongwe-based designer was among the 30 designers from different countries that showcased their designs at the festival.

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Donga’s manager Fawzia Osman said yesterday that it was exciting for Malawi to have designers starring at the festival.

“This was not the first time for her to showcase her designs at a festival. She has done international fashion shows before.

“This is a big festival because it brought on board close to 30 designers from Malawi, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Swaziland and Namibia,” said Osman.

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She then hailed Mapeto Fabrics for sponsoring the designer with fabric and an air ticket to participate at the festival.

“We are thankful to Mapeto. Donga’s designs are mixed with polka dots and according to her manager; her work has a cause of helping people with albinism.

But how did Donga get Mapeto’s sponsorship?

“We were asked to bring something from our respective countries. We approached Mapeto since they deal with Malawian fabric. It was then that they welcomed the idea and offered the material,” said Osman.

She said the designer will also be showcasing her designs at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe on May 20, 2016.

Osman said Donga learnt a lot during the festival which she was raring to share with fellow local designers.

“Fashion is about diversity and all the art of working with different textures of textiles and you can use ropes, you can flex material, recycled materials and you can tell a story that anybody can understand through art,” she said.

Osman said Malawi needs to start embracing fashion as it creates jobs and can boost the economy.

She also said that Malawi did well at the festival. Apart from Donga, there were two other designers including Tazima Fashions.

Osman said they will be travelling back home Thursday.

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