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Melita Ngoasheng

I was introduced to sewing in 2005 by my mother, although I was not interested at first; however my love for fashion slowly crept in. Two years later I received formal training from Sew Africa Training Centre from 2007 to 2010. In my first year I won the best student of the year award and since then I was awarded full bursaries throughout my training years because of my hard work.

Growing up with a mother who sewed for a living, there was always a sense of excitement and fulfillment when submitting the complete garment to her happy clients. That made me realize that fashion is not just talent, it is love and commitment.

My ambition is to open my own boutique and become a retailer and export of my garments.

I also plan to open a training centre for less privileged upcoming designers.

I think the African Fashion Industry is vastly growing and young designers are being more recognized now, more than ever before. Organizations like AIF and many more are setting a platform for us to establish our brands.

This creates more entrepreneurs in our country thus benefiting our economy.

The most distinctive aspect of the African Fashion Industry is the garments different designers come up with, from traditional garments to western garments; the final product is always appreciated.

Achievements and Awards:

  • 2007 Best Student of the Year, including full bursary for the following year.
  • 2008 Participated in the Business Networking Fashion Show held by Umsombovu on Women’s Day.
  • 2008 Participated in the Eyethu Women’s Association Fashion Show
  • 2008 Exhibited at the Soweto Festival
  • 2010 Only student in class to display my collection at school
  • 2010 Won Best Range of the Year

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Pride Ntombi Nkosi

I came to SEWAFRICA after the search for tertiary Institutions. What was nice about SEWAFRICA is that it was right in central Johannesburg and it was a reasonable price. I knew SEWAFRICA a couple of year’s back, as some of the time I would buy the things I would use to sew at 109 Pritchard Street Fabric Shop.

The love of fashion, making clothes and coming up with ideas; that’s what made me love Fashion Design. Most of the time I would sketch anything that came to my mind. I never knew of getting inspired by something, making visual boards, having technical drawings and appropriate fabric swatches.

In 2005 I entered the Elle New Talent Competition, my sketches where a mix of Ideas that had no inspiration and I never knew how to construct a garment or a pattern. My motivation for the competition became something that read like a personal letter to why I deserve this chance rather than a motivation.

All I remember when I left school was taking my magazines dreaming and sketching. I never knew how to use patterns that I would find in some of the magazines.

  • 1999 I worked in a Flea Market selling shoes for a period of 1 year.
  • 2001 - 2002 I worked in a salon nearby where I stayed
  • 2003 I worked in town at a salon for a couple of months, and then Mondeor for 2 months
  • 2004 - 2005 I moved to Pretoria to work in a salon, with the hope I can save money. In just 6 months I got another temporary job at Hygiene Services Company for 3 months. At home I would get customers to come to my house to plat their hair, until my cousin called me to work as a receptionist, as well as part time work at the Hygiene Service Company. I worked there for 1 year until I moved back home.
  • 2006 I started buying pattern making books and rulers, paper. At this point I was able to make a dress. Sometimes I would help my neighbor to construct garments. I did Spiritual dresses for my neighbour’s daughter for a group at church, and traditional shirts for the Pastor. All I had was my over locker, which I bought a few years back whilst working in the salons.
  • 2007 I bought an old domestic machine.
  • 2008 I registered at SEWAFRICA Fashion College; I helped my mom with the fees by making toilet sets and selling them. As well as making jean hand bags and selling them. The jean handbags started as a single unlined bag, which resulted in other ladies loving the bag. This helped me a lot in paying the fees. After 1st year I got a bursary for Second Year
  • 2009 The owner of 109 Pritchard Street shop owner, Rees Mann, gave me a huge order for the jean handbags, and that is when I bought my first Industrial machine. After 2nd Year I was lucky enough to get another bursary for 3rd Year.
  • 2010 At the end of year fashion show I was chosen to showcase my designs at the Africa International Fashion Week. I learnt a lot from the experience before the show.
  • 2011 My range was showcased. I am in the process of registering my company, dealing with customers one on one, as well as producing the Jean bags.