Unathi scoops new gig from Proudly South African

Unathi Nkayi’s star keeps on shining and rising. The afro-soul singer will now host Proudly South African’s Mzansi, Are You Wearing Local? panel session at the upcoming 2022 Buy Local Summit and Expo.

An ardent supporter of local designers, the former Idols SA judge is also known for her work as radio presenter on Metro FM and Kaya FM. Currently, Nkayi co-hosts the All-Star Drive show with Justin Toerien on Star 91.9 FM.

In her new gig, Nkayi will rub the shoulders with some of the biggest names in fashion next week to explore iconic local looks, the importance of localisation, and where to next for the industry.

Nkayi said in a statement on Thursday that while South Africa’s fashion industry is relatively small by international standards, local designers punch well above their weight, adding that they are known internationally for their talent.

She shared: “This session offers an exciting chance to look back on the industry’s successes, its challenges, and to look ahead in terms of its future.

“What do we need to take local fashion forward? And what role can the fashion industry play in the country’s socio-economic development? We’re aiming to answer all this and more, so this will be an event not to miss.”

The Mzansi, Are You Wearing Local? session’s star-studded line-up includes acclaimed local designer Gavin Rajah, who recently collaborated with Pick n Pay Clothing to create a trans-seasonal collection of resort wear.

Hangwani Nengovhela of well-known local brand Rubicon will also make an appearance. Nengovhela has dressed several celebrities including Basetsana Kumalo, Lynn Whitfield, Rami Chuene, and Pearl Thusi.

Soweto-born designer Sello Medupe of local fashion house SCALO, whose work has been showcased at Torino Fashion Week in Italy and at the New York Fashion Week, will also be present.

SCALO boasts achievements such as dressing 2018 Miss SA and Miss Universe runner-up Tamaryn Green. SCALO also dressed Miss SA 2020 winner Shudufhadzo Musida.

The panel will also feature Tania Macalagh, the co-founder of the popular LESELA Fashion brand, which is known for its modern, elegant Afrocentric designs, and Kealeboga Pule of jewellery manufacturer Nungu Diamonds.

Also included in the line-up is Sandra Rogers, the co-founder of local clothing and fabric manufacturer KOOP Studios in Lorentzville.

Proudly South African chief marketing officer Happy MaKhumalo Ngidi said the panel session will aim to dispel the perception that South African clothing designs are of an inferior quality to those made overseas.

Ngidi shared: “We hope to showcase the amazing homegrown talent and brands currently available, demonstrating that our fashion industry is equal to any in the world.

“Local brands offer outstanding quality and stunning designs with uniquely African aesthetics and appeal that celebrate our heritage and speak to who we are.

Ngidi added: “By incorporating locally made textiles into their clothing ranges, these designers hold enormous power to make a mark in terms of job creation, which is why we’re hoping to show South Africans the many reasons why they should be supporting local brands.”

The Mzansi, Are You Wearing Local? panel session will take place virtually at 4.30pm on March 15. For registration to attend the session at no charge go to: https://buylocalsummit.co.za/.

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