Eye on Zululand has been seeking out opportunities to give local clothing brands that we believe in a push in the market and boy have we had our work cut out for us. There are so many absolutely magnificent brands out there at this very moment, however, it is the brands that have a story to tell that really peaked our interest.
Destiny Clothing is probably the most inspirational brand we have seen to date. While the founder and designer, Dlozi Nene, has always had an absolute love for fashion it was a dream that was not brought to the fore until about a year ago. Dlozi has had a love for formal wear from a young age, and even did some time as a model. After finishing school in 2011, he came to Zululand to study an Education degree through Unisa, however, that was cut short due to circumstances beyond his control. In need of work to support his children, Dlozi took to driving a taxi to make ends meet. This certainly did not put a stop to the pride he took in his appearance and left his passengers in awe on a daily basis with his style and impeccably neat presentation. These actions put a smile on the faces of those who travelled with him daily and won him an award in 2016 as Most Presentable Taxi Driver of the Year. Having viewed a clip from his interview on television at the time, it is evident that he is not one to speak out. He prefers to share his feelings and thoughts through art, inspiration and clothing. This is the foundation on which Destiny Clothing is built. Creating street clothing incorporating an arty logo with a variety of inspirational thoughts imbedded is what makes this brand one that should not be ignored.
He too has praised those who support his cause and his fellow local brand owners. We spoke a bit about the competitiveness of the industry which we all know can become excessive and although he agrees that it is an industry where everyone is fighting to succeed, he also had tremendous things to say about the other brand owners and the manner in which they help each other and encourage one another. They may be competitors in the market, however, they are friends above all else. Each brand has their place and each deserves acknowledgement for their achievements.
The varying inspirational inserts built into the logo designs is something that is new to the local industry and truly depicts what is written on the heart of Dlozi Nene. The term wearing your heart on your sleeve could not be truer than with this brand.
Hard work, passion, humbleness, love, art, success – These are all a definitive part of the Destiny of Dlozi Nene.
You can get your dose of daily inspiration with Destiny Clothing by calling Dlozi on 071 455 7378.
“Impossible is nothing – Destiny Clothing”
Local clothing brands are hitting the streets with a vengeance these days, however, few stand out enough to make a dent in the market, local or otherwise. Not many brands have the passion or desire to succeed.
“Gotta Be Rich” clothing definitely does NOT fall into this category. The brand itself is one that is attractive through its simplicity. The brainchild of the brand is a young lady who displays unwavering determination and a belief in her own brand that will conquer all.
Sthesh has that “I can do anything” attitude that has the power to take her dream, her brand, to the top. Coming from an extremely poor background growing up has not been a crutch on which she has leaned or a part of her life that she has used as blame. She refuses to sit back and become just another face in the crowd. Her own realisation that everybody deserves their own degree of wealth and happiness has allowed Sthesh to create her own new beginning and it will dictate her own happily ever after. She continues to reach for the stars, controversy pushing her ever harder to succeed.
Sthesh has an idea in mind, one that she will not deviate from. She believes that when somebody puts on her “Gotta Be Rich” brand it must allow the wearer to feel positive vibe. It is that positivity that will eventually bring the desired results. Positivity and hope breed the same sentiments tenfold and so the circle will continue.
Sthesh, who is the founder and clothing brand designer is in awe of the support she has received from everyone around her, including other brand owners and designers. While it is of course a competitive field, local brands support each other and offer encouragement, each willing the other to succeed in their own right. Her journey to date has been a whirlwind one which has been speckled with nominations for her designs confirmation that her hard work is not going unnoticed.
We, at Eye on Zululand, recently had an opportunity to share some time with Sthesh and her team at the Heatonville “Die Gat” Market and it is obvious to recognise why her brand is taking such leaps in the tough fashion industry. Approachable, cheerful, humble and bundles of fun are the words that spring to mind instantly when thinking of Sthesh and honestly, I can’t help but smile.
The clothing line is local to Empangeni, but is available for shipping all over the country. Contact Sthesh on 083 765 7211 to get in on a brand that is sweeping South Africa, and fast! Watch out world.....”Gotta Be Rich” is on the way....
Zululand local Sanele is on a road to making his dream a reality. From humble beginnings in Ndabayakhe on the outskirts of Empangeni, Sanele pursued further studies at Mangosuthu University. While he always had a deeply ingrained love for fashion, it is here that his eyes were opened to an entirely new world of possibilities.
During those years of study, Sanele began to dabble in fashion and design, starting his first label. It was during this initial project that he gained experience in print and quality. As his final year of study ended, he returned to his home, the place that held his heart, Zululand. Beginning a life in sales at Coca-Cola, his dreams were put on the back-burner.
The turning point and the true realisation of a brand which had only lived in his thoughts came in May 2019 when Sanele was retrenched due to the economic downturn of the times.
While many may have wallowed in self-pity, this young man with the infectious smile and trademark black hat, used this misfortune to create something wonderful and to bring his ideas to life.
African Child Clothing has taken the street fashion world by storm. The high quality clothing and eye-catching logo are testament to the hard work and many long hours put in by Sanele, his sister who solely manufactures the clothing and a small team that has been on a mission to bring the clothing to the masses. Each piece of clothing has been personally designed by Sanele and offers stylish comfort to absolutely anyone, and everyone.
Speaking with Sanele this past weekend it is evident how passionate he is about his brand. With so many new designers mirroring the fashion put out in other countries, Sanele has taken a different approach. His clothing signifies his pride in being an African and encourages others to do the same.
The brand logo tells a story all of its own. You need only see it once to read the message depicted. It is a message of hope, pride and and undeniable love for his country of birth.
Sanele can be reached via telephone on 0726908067 or you can contact the brand on Facebook under Arican Child Clothing ZA. Clothes can also be found on the shelves of Gear Up in the Sanlam Centre in Empangeni.
Bring out your inner African Child and wear the brand that is proud of our heritage.
The past weekend proved to be so much more exciting than we, at Eye on Zululand, could ever have dreamed.
On Saturday night we accepted an invitation to a showcase at Rockwood Theatre Sibaya that would leave us completely shocked at the talent held within our country. We were absolutely shell-shocked by the level of singing, dancing and acting on show. There are performers in South Africa who have what it takes to make it to the top, and you can be assured that many were present on that stage on Saturday night.
Something that truly hit home was the sheer good fellowship amongst contestants. Yes, it was a competition, but to me the contestants came across as a family, having endured the same journey, each supporting the next with enthusiasm and sincerity.
The Project Performer initiative is the brainchild of Shylo Pereira who has nurtured it with passion and love for both the performing arts and the artists whom she has spent countless hours alongside, guiding on a path to achieve the best that they can, and more.
The platform is the first of its kind in South Africa. Aspiring artists and creatives have an opportunity to grow in a business that can so often be cut throat, leaving many feeling disheartened. Education is key and this is provided in abundance. Heavy weights in the industry have rallied together in support of the initiative to provide guidance and direction to motivate success.
With a platform like this one, there is no need for aspiring individuals to travel abroad to gain the exposure they require in an extremely tumultuous industry.
The wonderful thing about this project is that it incorporates every aspect of performing arts. Whether you are a singer or songwriter in any genre, a dancer, one who revels in theatrics or simply a classical music enthusiast, there is a place for you within this initiative.
Project Performer opens doors for budding artists and gives them the wings to fly. Hard work, dedication and a willingness to learn from the best in the industry is a recipe for success.
Project Performer has set its goals on keeping our talent where it belongs, in South Africa.
Are you one of the aspiring, talented creatives seeking you way in the daunting performance industry? Now is your time to shine! Entry forms for the 2020 Project Performer are available on the website www.projectperformer.co.za, auditions begin next month.
Don't miss out on the opportunity of a liftetime…..
At face value Timeless Art Collections Tattoo Studio in Richards Bay appears like any other studio. That is until you walk through the door. Stepping over the threshold transports you to a place of creativity and wonder. Images that live within the depths of your mind are transformed into lifelong art pieces, meticulously ingrained into your skin with a perfection that is difficult to fathom until you witness it.
Clean, sterile and hygienic are all the qualities you expect to find in a professional tattoo studio and yes, Timeless Art prides themselves on all of these, however, there is so much more to them that meets the eye. The studio is a haven that defines the personality of the owner, Stix, who shares many interests with the second part of the tattoo duo, Dylan. The sensory overload provided by the striking wall colours, personal paintings, wall hung guitars, buzz of the tattoo machines, friendly banter and the smell of incense, is indescribable and something you have to experience in person.
The dynamic tattoo duo at the studio, owner Stix Thomas and the infamous Dylan Mason are a match made in ink-lovers heaven. Both are skilled and passionate about their chosen profession and express themselves with completely different and distinctive styles. Dylan is known for his tattoo work throughout Empangeni and Richards Bay as well as in Durban and as far afield as Cape Town. Stix too has a vast experience in the industry and shares his creative flair through his absolutely mind-blowing paintings, airbrushed works and of course, his tattoos.
Whether you are looking for an exceptional ink experience or a piercing, this is the place for you. Stix and Dylan are on hand to make the moment a memorable one, whether you first tattoo or your tenth (and yes it is addictive). Piercings are left to Tristan who has mastered the art like a true professional.
Call/Whatsapp Timeless Art Collective Tattoo & Piercing Studio today on 063 434 9453 for inquiries and bookings today! There is no time like today to get inked and there is no better place than this studio in the heart of the Bay.
Paula may not be from Zululand, but her story is one that will touch the hearts and lives of many who find themselves drowning in a sea of confusion and despair through their own adoption journey. Paula hails from Durban, just a short drive up the coast from Zululand.
At face value, Paula Gruben may appear just like any other young, vibrant, ambitious woman but nothing could be further from the truth. While she does possess all the mentioned traits, her passion is what pushes her above and beyond the limits. Paula has that x-factor that so many spend their entire lifetime developing.
As a child born into adoption, Paula was destined to suffer heartache, confusion, and frustration but for this warrior woman, a victorious ending was not negotiable. She was aware from an early age that she was blessed with two sets of parents. The loving parents who raised her, and with whom she often butted heads, and her birth parents who had given her up for adoption on the day she entered this life. She knew that somewhere out there in the world were the answers she was seeking about who she really was. Paula knew that she would only truly know herself once this piece of the puzzle was put in place. Tragic events in the life of a friend close to her set her on a chaotic path. Self-destructive behaviour and anti-social tendencies were the results of deeply rooted uncertainty about her past and her own identity. The strain placed on the relationship with her adoptive parents was tremendous. Paula had to find answers.
At twenty-one years of age, her adoption files were eventually unsealed allowing her to delve into her past. What she found set her on a path to enlightenment. A heart-wrenching letter from her birth mother the trigger. A dream became reality when shortly thereafter Paula met her birth mother and a few years later her birth father. While these relationships have prospered and grown, the one that she has known for most of her life, that with her adoptive parents, has deteriorated to an almost non-existent state.
While many adoptees go through the very same trials and tribulations, few are determined enough and as fearless in their search for the truth.
Paula's life has been filled with unexpected twists and turns, adoption and the journey to discovery are only a small part of it. After a decade of courtship, Paula wed her long-time love and best friend. While Paula was never quite decided on the idea of children, fate had other plans for her. Her son was born after a seven-month pregnancy much to her surprise. Whatever life has thrown her way, she has handled with grace. Regardless of the obstacles placed in her path, it always looped back to her story, the one she had to write. She could only imagine how devastating it must have been for her birth mother to let her go and the nervous elation her adoptive mother must have felt at being granted this gift.
The Book - Seeds Carefully Nurtured With the Greatest Care
Paula’s self-published book “Umbilicus” is a heartfelt, sincere and honest account of the journey through her eyes. Her writing is raw with emotion. As an author she has risked so much for a story she knew she had to share. It is evident throughout that this is a labour of love. The care with which she has put her words together, the sometimes brutal honesty and the explicit attention to detail reveal how much of herself she has given to telling her story to the world.
Inspirational and Motivational
Paula has gone on to use her experiences, good and bad, to inspire hope in others and encourage them to pursue the truth regardless of the fallout that is sure to follow. Her obviously personal and heartfelt account of events has helped adoptees globally to understand their own thoughts and feelings and to realise that they too are only human after all.
Being an adoptee does not mean you are doomed to live with disappointment and Paula has proved that without a doubt. She is living, breathing proof that there is happiness, success, love, and life to the fullest, after adoption.
Paula's journey from that wilful, strong-minded teen to the successful, self-published author she is today is a testament to her tremendous strength, courage and relentless pursuit of happiness.
Having met and grown very close to Paula during those somewhat tumultuous teen years, it was apparent from the very beginning that this woman was going places, and she certainly didn't disappoint. Umbilicus is definitely not the last you will hear from her.
“Someone I loved once
gave me a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
- Mary Oliver