17 September 2014
   
New Zimbabwe Header
Our friends are here, Bob tells 'evil' West
Tsvangirai godfather of violence, Holland
Malaysia: Zim student gets Ebola all clear
Zimbabweans refuse to pay $1.3b RBZ debt
Magaya pays $150k to settle adultery case
No polls without new voters' roll: MDC-T
Free inputs promoting laziness: Minister
Mugabe seals $3bln Russian mining deal
MORE NEWS
Chinese envoy on Zimbabwe deals
Minister loses patience with Chinese miner
MORE BUSINESS
New House for Big Brother Africa 2014
Kumasowe to premiere at Book Café
MORE SHOWBIZ
Cara Black starts Tokyo title defence
ZPC Kariba's first home tie, after 22 games
MORE SPORTS
Devolution in Zim and the Scottish Lesson
Leaders changed through polls, Mr Ex-PM
MORE OPINION
 
Gutu: Put Zimbabwe first
Social responsibility vs economic efficiency
MORE COLUMNISTS
 
 
Clothing line turns Mugabe into fashion icon


Endorsement ... President Mugabe's sons Robert Jnr and Chatunga with Gushungo caps

04/02/2013 00:00:00
by Phyllis Mbanje
 
Unique ... Gushungo Clothing's Patience Mavima shows off their merchandise
 
RELATED STORIES
Fashion wars: Grace vs Elizabeth
Nyasha's agency in Zim model search
Nyasha covers Vogue magazine
Tribes of Africa fashion show launched
Catwalk for Zimbabwe's orphans
The Truth About: Terrie Mahati
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is many things to many people, but few would have him down as a fashion icon.

But a new clothing label – which apparently has the veteran leader’s seal of approval – is pushing new boundaries, riding on nothing more than Mugabe’s signature.

Gushungo Clothing launched last year as an “experiment”, says director Justin Matenda, who admits to idolising the 88-year-old leader.

A ready market to test his idea came in the form of the Zanu PF People’s Conference last December in front of over 6,000 delegates.

Their merchandise – which included overalls, caps, berets, T-Shirts and umbrellas – was quickly snapped up as they struggled to satisfy demand.

"The demand is too high, we are working extremely hard to satisfy the growing demand,” says Matenda.

Allan Mapisa, the marketing director of Yedu Nesu, the company behind Gushungo Clothing, said they were working to expand their range to include formal wear including shirts, suits, handbags and shoes.

Mapisa and Matenda said their design are done locally and also in Asia by their partners.

Mapisa said: “We have creative designers and we also work in collaboration with our Asian partners. Production is being done in China, Hong Kong and lately Thailand.

"What makes our brand unique is the fact that our products are world class and Zimbabweans can easily relate and identify with them.

"The brand is also riding on a wave of a hero, our President. We are guaranteed success.”
 
Matenda said of Mugabe: “The President gave us his blessing and the signature is authentic.
 
"This is for him. We are celebrating the sacrifices he has made for the country.”

Matenda insists that their market goes beyond the Zanu PF faithful. Some bought their merchandise out of curiosity, or just for the fun of getting a reaction from friends. Their overalls were a hit with farmers, he said.

"Our range is apolitical and our motive is to reach out to Zimbabweans in true fashion style. Whatever negative comments they do not matter, they are insignificant. Detractors will always be there, we are not perturbed,” he said.

As part of their future plans, Yedu Nesu want to open a ‘House of Gushungo’ store in central Harare. They also plan to supply major retail stores.



Advertisement

"When we do that, then everybody can walk in and access our products. Our prices are fair,” he said.

Gushungo Clothing was recently boosted after former UK Big Brother star Makosi Musambasi was photographed with one of their umbrellas. The huge internet controversy the picture generated was a marketing executive’s dream. As they say, any publicity is good publicity.


Fashion statement ... Gushungo Clothing's Patience Mavima models a cap



If it fits ... A Gushungo Clothing cap bearing President Mugabe's signature



Fashion icon ... Makosi shows her true colours under a Gushungo umbrella


 
Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it

Del.icio.us

Reddit

Newsvine

Nowpublic

Stumbleupon

Face Book

Myspace

Fark
 
 
 
comments powered by Disqus
 
RSS NewsTicker