Tumelo Nkwe’s passion for fashion has given him a fulfilling opportunity to making a living while doing what he loves. The 24-year-old man from Mochudi is a stylist-cum-fashion producer, whose road has not been smooth at all.
The young man is a hard worker, as he has not allowed challenges he came across in his line of work discourage him from aiming high and reaching for the stars.
As a stylist he has been invited to assist at a number of events. Nkwe started off as a dresser in 2009, quickly moving on to become a stylist.
Nkwe says that even though Batswana are yet to warm up to the idea of seeking the services of stylists, he believes that in the near future, things will be a bit different.
“In Botswana it is still hard for people to actually have stylists, but with time I see people becoming stylists.
When you look at people like CEOs or MPs, they are very busy people who need us to offer our services to them,” he said.
Stylists source out clothes for their clients, which can be choosing an outfit and accessories for a particular event, or being a full-time stylist for someone, which would entail choosing clothes for the client on a daily basis. Nkwe, however, explained that stylists could also be engaged by fashion show organisers to make sure that the clothes are presented in a professional manner.
He, however, noted that most fashion show organisers in Botswana are still a bit reluctant to engage other professionals.
“Most people who do fashion shows in Botswana, want to do everything by
Nkwe noted that there are a lot of challenges in the industry, including people who want their services but do not want to pay for them. He said that this has not demoralised him as it encouraged him to work harder to make sure that his services can compete on the international level. He, however, has not restricted his trade to being a stylist as he is currently on his way to becoming a fashion producer, which he says is a challenging job.
“A fashion producer entails many things, for example, you start off with auditioning models for the show you are producing, then you go on into fittings, preparing garments, arranging garments according to how they should look on the runway.
Then you have to do rehearsals with models, and check if the music goes very well with the garments. The producer also has to make sure that lighting and sound are good,” he explained.
Nkwe of late has been taking part in a number of international fashion events, which include Zimbabwe Fashion Week, Cape Town Fashion Week, and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa. He said taking part in international events has shown him for one to succeed they need to cast their net wide, and look for opportunities in other countries.