Designer for Mpumalanga Fashion Extravaganza
WHILE the Zimbabwe Fashion Week, previously a significant annual industry event, has been
inactive for several years, this has not stopped designers from dreaming and re-invisioning new
One of these, who has kept focus and has been perfecting his creative skills, has caught the eye
of regional promoters and is heading for the Mpumalanga Fashion Extravaganza this coming
Harare-based fashion designer, Tatenda Blessing Munjeri, is among a cast of more than 20
designers headlining the Mpumalanga Fashion Extravaganza on Saturday (November 26) at the
BMW Eastview, in the City of Mbombela. However his dream trip hangs in a balance as he
needs a sponsor to help cover his travelling expenses and Tatenda is optimistic that some good
Samaritan will come his way before the event kicks off.
Munjeri will be showing his Afro Phoenix men’s wear designs. The expectation is that this event
will open greater opportunities for his brand of clothing designs.
The Mpumalanga Fashion Extravaganza is like another step up the ladder for the young designer.
He has worked with Miss Culture Week Zimbabwe and showcased his creations twice in
Malawi, where he recently won the Best African Designer Award in men’s wear.
Winning the culture conquest, which led to Munjeri having his own fabric, collecting the award
in Malawi and dressing a Nigerian celebrity based in the US, appear to validate his conviction
that he is on the right trajectory.
He has dressed Tolu, a celebrity from the USA, Tatenda Njanike, the current Mr Supra
Zimbabwe; Future Nyoni, the current Mr Zimbabwe Senior, and recently being the personal
designer/stylist for a US cleric.
Always a fashion lover, Munjeri says: “I have always been a fashion lover and always wanted to
look good, wearing something that no one else has – that has been the driving force behind me
and my work.”
Why the choice of Afro Phoenix, as his brand, I asked. To this he responds: “People always said
that I was a no body, a no hoper with a low horizon and that I would not make it in life.
“Afro Phoenix, is a Phoenix that is rising from the ashes. I am the Phoenix – from a no body to a
trending fashion designer. I just hope and pray that I get sponsors to help me with my trip to
The Zimbabwe Fashion Week was founded in 2009 with the aspiration being to create a platform
for Zimbabwean and regional designers to showcase their work, but equally rekindling what was
once a thriving textile and fashion industry.
In the years following its founding, the Zimbabwe Fashion Week became an important annual
cultural event attended by thousands of patrons and in the process gained international
Such was its impact that it became a significant industry event in the country. It had class and
shaped opinions and tastes among Zimbabweans.
But on March 22, 2019, it made an announcement expressing “the difficult decision not to host
the Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2019,”explaining that it remained a difficult decision made out of
necessity. This is not the end.”
It is that optimistic ending note that fashion designers like Munjeri believe the Zimbabwe
Fashion Week is something “that we need and must have because that is the only way to grow
the fashion industry in Zimbabwe.
“We need more shows. We need exposure. We need to be heard and appreciated more.”
The Mpumalanga Fashion Extravaganza 2022 is billed as an experience to celebrate the
province’s finest fashion designers as they showcase their creativity.
Caption 1: Tatenda Blessing Munjeri
Caption 2: A model wears one of Munjeri’s creations on the catwalk.
Caption 3: Models showcase some of Munjeri’s creations.