McGregor has sewn his last garment

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

The community of Senaoane in Soweto is mourning the death of one of its revered tailors, Bonginkosi "McGregor" Zulu, pictured.

Zulu was born in the township on March 11 1959. He was a staunch Orlando Pirates supporter and a people's person. He died in his sleep on Wednesday.

He was kind and charming - always cracking jokes.

His clients would always be merry while waiting for their wares, and McGregor often always had a plan for them - ending up enjoying an impromptu drinking session and forgetting their plans for the day.

People would file in and out of his one-room sewing space with demands for a touch of class of their piece of cloth that would make them stand out in any function for any occasion.

He also designed wedding gowns and church uniforms.

The late Brenda Fassie was once his number one client.

He also, without being solicited, made a fashionable gown in ANC colours for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela as a present.

He always reminisced about how he had spent 22 years in his room. Fine-tuning garments made him the envy of many Indian tailors from whom he ordered his materials.

They tried to recruit him to work for them without any luck.

McGregor qualified as a tailor after studying sewing and designing at Wilgespruit Community Centre in 1985. Self-reliance was his motto since then.

He was also an activist and a staunch member of the Pan Africanist Congress.

McGregor was the seventh child of the late Bishop Samuel and Ellinah Zulu.

He was also the younger brother of Sowetan photographer Mbuzeni Zulu.

He will be buried on Sunday after a service at 9am in Senaoane.