Mandela designer garments on show

Madiba Shirts designer Sonwabile Ndamase has got a new collection of T-shirts to mark Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations.
Madiba Shirts designer Sonwabile Ndamase has got a new collection of T-shirts to mark Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

As part of Nelson Mandela's centenary celebrations, the designer of his world famous Madiba Shirts will host a show in Pretoria on Saturday to showcase some of the garments that made Madiba special.

Designer Sonwabile Ndamase will also use the show to introduce a T-shirt version of the shirts at his 100 Madiba Shirts Fashion Show to be held at Freedom Park in Salvokop Hill, just south of the capital.

The show will also showcase the evolution of the designer's work since the 1990s when he started dressing the former president.

Ndamase, 58, said it was an honour for him to dress the freedom fighter and his wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and saw it fit to honour the centenary celebrations with a special show.

He said because Mandela made him famous he now wanted to "give back".

In his latest collection, he features colourful T-shirts which he hopes will catch the eye of the youth.

"My brand is inspired by Tata's brief, he explained that he wanted something 'cool'. Something that he could wear when he addressed his people or to formal meetings," said Ndamase.

According to Ndamase, Mandela was a stylish person and thus he wanted to bring the brand closer to people by availing it in retail stores.

"uTata was a people's person. Currently our brand is available at Edgars and we hope to get more retails on board," he said.

Ndamase said he still dresses prominent people such as ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

If Mandela's fashion wasn't inspiration for you, you could take a walk in his footsteps with Airbnb Experiences.

The activities or excursions, led by passionate local hosts, would take you where Madiba lived in Soweto's Vilakazi Street as well as to the home of Mama Winnie in Orlando.

The Hector Pieterson Museum - which commemorates the role of the country's students in the Struggle against apartheid - is also included in the experience.

The Robben Island prison, which is now a museum, forms part of the tour, while Mandela's former prison warden Jack Swart has been roped in as a host at the site where Mandela spent most of his time during his 27-year incarceration.

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