The Buyel’Ekhaya Fashion Development Progamme Announces 2017 Finalists

On Monday, 23 October 2017, acclaimed designer DAVID TLALE facilitated the second BUYEL’EKHAYA FASHION DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP attended by over 70 aspiring young fashion designers and students at the Miriam Makeba Centre of Performing Arts in East London.  The day ended with the announcement of 10 finalists from all over the Eastern Cape who will travel to Johannesburg to be mentored by renowned designer THULA SINDI from 6 November to 15 November 2017.

At the BUYEL’EKHAYA FASHION DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP, the young designers received invaluable advice from industry veteran DAVID TLALE who was also part of the adjudication panel who went through their creative portfolios and selected the 10 finalists. The panel was made up of Regional Manager of The Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) Seta Ms LungileDlamini, SABC Head of Radio Marketing Mr SipheleleSixaso, Head Designer of Monarchy Couture Mr Archibald Monyepao, fashion designer  FreddyNgwenya and Walter Sisulu University Fashion Technician Ms Sibusisiwe Nodada.


The promising designers who will travel to Johannesburg to take their first big steps into the fashion world, under the guidance of respected designer THULA SINDI are:


ATI BANOYOLO NWABISA SETIPA (Mount Croix, Port Elizabeth)

KHANYA MATOLENGWE (New Brighton, Port Elizabeth)

LELETHU TYETHE (Mdantsane, East London)

LUDIDI ONKE (Zwlitsha, King Williams Town)

LUNGELA SIJILA (Zwelitsha, King Williams Town)

MASIMZUKISE JACK (Quigney, East London)

MELINDA NKAYI (Ezibeleni, Queenstown)

NOMFUNEKO KENYANE (Mdantsane, East London)

YANGA NGINDA (Esplanade, East London)

ZANDILE GONIWE (Scenery Park, East London)


During the ten day mentorship at the THULA SINDI studios the young designers will producetwo garments each to be showcased at the 2ndBUYEL’EKHAYA FASHION SHOW to be held on the 15th of DECEMBER 2017 at the ORIENT THEATRE, EAST LONDON under the theme “Going Back To Our Roots” alongside major names LADUMA NGXOKOLO (MaXhosa), DAVID TLALE, THULA SINDI, GERT-JOHAN COETZEE and Mozambican designer TAIBO BACAR.


It is an existential truism that the peoples of Africa are bound by a common destiny, and this has to be expressed in our various ways of life. Central to these is how we find meaning in the manner in which we dress. Fashion statements as a means of cultural expression therefore, capture this uniqueness of being African.
Fashion and style have become important purveyors of social and cultural meaning in modern societies, where clothing has become a global language that plays a major role in identity formation and personal self-expression.Therefore it can be argued that fashion and style goes far beyond biological necessities as it creates and conforms to social expressions, cultural beliefs, customs, and aesthetics, and most importantly, fashion is a means of identity.
Internationally, major fashion houses and designers are drawing inspiration from local aesthetic and style. South African designers like David Tladi, Ma Xhosa by Laduma and Thula Sindiare examples of how we can export our culture through fashion. The international community has, through these fashion shows, opened their eyes to the beauty of African fashion and are highly receptive of it.


Most aspiring designers possess the talent, and some acquire the certification, but what lacks in most programmes is the exposure to a quality and a well-finished product necessary to ensure that learners develop into commercially viable businesses. The Buyel’Ekhaya Fashion Development Programme in its inaugural year equipped 8 emerging designers with not just skills, but also the exposure needed to launch their careers.
The programme started in 2016 as a a six-month, six-phase mentorship and development programme, aimed at identifying, mentoring and training upcoming designers from the Eastern Cape in the art of fashion design, garment production and business marketing – towards creating sustainable careers and job opportunities in the Eastern Cape.
These emerging designers ultimately share a stage with some of the continent’s leading designers, such as South African designers David Tlale, Thula Sindi, Tina Ngxokolo and Mozambican, Taibo Bacar – with the goal of facilitating and elevating their careers to a national and ultimately international level – in front of a nationwide audience giving them a foot in the proverbial door.