He has designed outfits for South Africa’s top celebrities for renowned international events. On the red carpets of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, outstanding achievers have strolled donning his designs.
He remains level-headed but aims very high. He remains proudly Zimbabwean and hoists our flag in a foreign fashion circle. Like a proverbial prophet that finds no honour in his land, Thembani Mubochwa is hardly celebrated back home but he has big dreams for the Zimbabwean fashion industry. He has big dreams for our talented fashion makers and bigger hopes for aspiring designers.
Although local fashion labels struggle to penetrate the international market, Mubochwa sees light at the end of the tunnel. He is confident that one day in the foreseeable future Zimbabwe will cut a big share off the international cake of fashion designs. He foresees local designers jovially swallowing their tasty pieces and making an important point about the country’s great potential.
“I came from a humble background and fashion designing has taken me to places I never imagined when I was still starting my cutting and designing course,” said Mubochwa.
“At first I thought it was a course for mere tailors but I have now realised the potential that the art has. A lot can be achieved if Zimbabwean designers get exposure. We have the talent and we can shake the international market.”
Mubochwa runs Teez-M Designs and last month he did well at the Vodacom Durban July when an outfit he designed for Sifiso Andiswa was voted third in the Gold Circle Classic Race Wear (Male) category.
Vodacom Durban July is one of the most prestigious horse races in South Africa.
The race incorporates a fashion show where designers exhibit their outfits and outstanding designs are awarded in various categories.
“It was a great achievement and I know many other designers in Zimbabwe have a potential to do better,” said Mubochwa.
“Being recognised at a big event like Vodacom Durban July was an inspiring experience and I aim to represent Zimbabwe at many other fashion and celebrity events.”
But this achievement came on a solid foundation that Mubochwa built when he dressed celebrities like the late gospel musician Vuyo Mokoena, jazz diva Lira and gospel star S’fiso Ncwane.
He has also designed outfits for actors from SA soaps “Generations” and “Muvhango”. Locally, he designed outfits for the late Sam Mtukudzi.
Last year he brought South African disc jockey DJ Mroza for the Zimbabwe Fashion week where he launched his label in the country.
DJ Mroza (born Nonhlanhla Mroza Buthelezi) works for Ukhozi FM and is brand ambassador for Mubochwa’s Teez-M label.
DJ Mroza is married to renowned South African artiste Mbongeni Ngema.
“She has been very supportive. Even her husband has backed me in my endeavours and I am proud to be associated with such hard-working people. Fashion is big business that connects you to big people.”
The fashion designer was outstanding at South Africa’s gospel music awards where he dressed most of the nominees.