Two Zimbabwean youth, have redefined the meaning of determination and purpose, by creating their own fashion line, with the aim of giving youth identity and a voice.
The two, Richmond Mlambo and Nigel Chinembiri, both students at the University of South Africa, (UNISA), studying accounting and Informatics, respectively, launched The Chasers, a hip hop and sportswear fashion brand, after discovering their common interest in fashion.
Chinembiri (22) a self-described shopaholic, said he found out that many people speak through their clothing.
“Clothing gets to tell someone who they are,” he explained, “mainly some of them don’t have the voice to speak out and they only speak out according to what they wear and stuff,” Chinembiri said.
Mlambo (23) an entrepreneur, who’s always wanted to start his own fashion line, said The Chasers, gave him an opportunity to make his dream a reality, and wants the same for the students.
“We are targeting students as we believe dreams start from a younger age, as we believe the youth have the power to change the community or the world we live in now,” said Mlambo.
The youths have established themselves in the fashion industry through innovative fashion designs and entrepreneurial efforts.
“We were entrepreneurs of the year last year because we kept on pushing and people liked our styles and how we formed it and it was just like people said it was unique and it was not something basic because we are concentrating on more of the hip pop fashion and on the sporting fashion,” said Nigel.
Mlambo said that through their network of friends they have been able to successfully launch their brand.
“We launched our summer wear beginning of April so basically what we are mainly focusing on for now is only South Africa and Zimbabwe. We managed to get sales agents in each and every university in the form of our friends, these are the ones that are pushing our brand and selling the stuff,” said Mlambo.The Chasers brand owners have teamed up with Miss Zimbabwe-Diaspora, Rosanna Hall, to promote impactful philanthropy programs within the community through student engagement.
Mlambo said, “We are going to every orphanage in South Africa to tell them our story of how we started our brand, together with Miss Zimbabwe-Diaspora Rossana Hall to tell the kids how she started her modeling career. The program is meant to motivate kids and youth in whatever situation they are in, some are depressed or wondering what is happening in their lives.”
“So we are supposed to encourage, because the situation we live in doesn’t determine your future. We have been collecting clothes, shoes and stuff so we can donate,” explained Nigel.
“We are targeting students as we believe dreams start from a younger age as we believe the youth have the power to change the community or the world we live in now,” said Mlambo.
According to Nigel, youth must believe in themselves in the midst of pressure. “I have a favorite quote that says ‘pressure makes diamond’ and if there is more pressure in your life and you keep believing in yourself and keep pushing you will actually get there because nothing makes sense if you don’t put effort. You are never too young to start an empire and never too old to start a dream,” said Chinembiri.
Zimbabwean designers are making giant fashion strides in the international community where they are receiving awards and international endorsements.