Triumph of vision over poverty

Makhosi Tshuma has vowed to make a living out of one of the necessities he struggled to have in his youth – clothes.

Makhosi Tshuma
Makhosi Tshuma

Born into a poor family, Tshuma believed that decent clothing and proper meals were a luxury preserved for the elite.

“I had a very painful childhood my brother,” said the 34-year-old, who grew up in Bulawayo.

“Everything that came our way had to be toiled for. My father did work, but the little that he earned was barely enough to feed the family, let alone get us luxuries. We lived from hand to mouth and only tasted things like meat and bread at weekends.”

That spurred him on to achieve in life and the result has been the establishment of his own clothing label – Ezase Kasi, literally translated to mean township style. Its logo is a dog’s paw in the middle of the name.

He explained why: “The full name of the label is Izinja (dogs) Zase Kasi because it is aimed at mostly the youth. It is in honour of my upbringing, which was mainly in high density suburbs of Bulawayo,” said Tshuma.

Young people in Bulawayo and most of South Africa refer to their closest friends as Izinja, hence Tshuma’s adoption of the name. “I can design anything for any age-group – from sportswear to overalls and work suits. I have dedicated most of the clothing styles to youth from the suburbs.”

His three-year-old label has become a hit in the high-density suburbs of Bulawayo and Johannesburg.

“Despite my background, I have always loved designer clothes. When I did get a little money, I would have tailors producing my own clothing,” added the designer.

“I have always known what I wanted to do in life and when I left school, I worked for nine years in two clothing factories in Bulawayo,” he said.

Political involvement saw him migrate to South Africa in 2005. He continued to work for clothing companies. In 2009, he rented machines and formed his own label.

He also designs clothes for weddings, musicians and drama groups.

“I want my children and their offspring to look back one day and say, ‘this is a legacy left to us by someone who struggled to have what we now live on’ and carry it on. I wish this label to one day be the commanding fashion voice with the youth and I am working hard towards achieving that. I also want to open a retail shop for my designs in Zimbabwe. For now people back home can place orders directly to me through my Facebook page – Ezasekasi Makhosi Label.”

“I know this might sound clichéd, but people should not allow their past to define their future. If you have a vision, a way and put some effort, you will definitely get there.”

Post published in: News

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