I was born and bred in Umlazi Township where I also matriculated. Son of Rachel Nsibande but raised by my grandmother along with my siblings.

Unfortunately my sister passed away when I was 11 and she was 10 on our way back from school. She got knocked down by a truck and I had to witness the horrible scene.

I also have a brother whom I love so dearly. I grew up playing in my neighbourhood with everybody, I never liked soccer like other guys, preferred indigenous games such as “magalobha”.

I love modelling and won my very first title, Mr. Ndongeni Primary in 1985. I then entered a church pageant and came 2nd, thereafter I won numerous titles such as Mr. Umlazi and Mr Gay KZN amongst many. My greatest achievement was last year when I became a Finalist at Mr Gay World Southern Africa and became the first ever Contestant to showcase at the Gala Finals.

I have a qualification in Marketing Management from Mangosuthu University of Technology.

I am employed fulltime by an NPO called Star for Life as an Arts Facilitator serving 9 schools around Durban. I have a company called Inxulumakazi Creations which I registered in 2010, as a fashion designer. My biggest achievement so far in fashion was last year when I won Vodacom Durban July, Female Classic Wear

After graduating I struggled to find employment and I would make money by making beads. In 2009 I was invited by Durban Gay Centre to apply for their Fashion Competition and to my surprise, I became one of the 10 Finalists. In 2010 I became one of the 10 Finalists at The Durban Fashion Extravaganza, I knew then I was on the right track

I don’t have a fashion qualification, i am self-taught. With the help of brilliant people like Kwenzi Nkomo, Bonga Bhengu, Zama and others, I was lucky to get inside information. I have been to a number of Master Classes under KZN Fashion Council and Durban Fashion Fair.

Right now, I am one of the 2018 Mentee of Durban Fashion Fair Mentorship Program.

In order to be successful career in fashion design, you must always be willing to learn, always researching as fashion is not stagnant but forever changing. And you must understand that it’s not as glamorous as it looks but a lot of hard work.

Life motivates, my biggest fear was not knowing if I would have my own clientele and make profit.

I feared that people might not accept me as their trusted designer but I have built a reputable profile for myself and things are looking better but it took a lot of time, many a time I have thought about giving up.

When I started around 2008-9 I took it as a hobby but eventually registered as a company and it’s now a business. I still work for NPO to keep a steady income but my future prospect is to have a studio which will also create employment for the others.

The most difficult situation you I had to face and overcome it was when mom passed away. I was 14 and had to be an orphan. My grandmother wasn’t the easiest person to stay with and still not, worse when I couldn’t get employment she made things difficult for me and at some stage I would tell myself that as soon as I get emancipated I would leave her and never return but here I am as a bread winner.

The people I admire the most in the fashion industry, locally its Kwenzi Nkomo, Modesta, Bonga Bhengu and internationally it’s Versace.

Social media plays a huge role these days. And an even important one in fashion, as they follow the trends and sell it to the masses

If I could go back to my young self and give advice, I would tell myself that studying fashion is ok. Start early and acquaint yourself with relevant people

By Uniq Reporter