Activator wins esteemed fashion design award at the Durban July 2019

By Paul Mabote

“One powerful tool I learned during my ACTIVATE! Change Drivers training is the Wash Line. I have taken it with me; it is a part of me and the foundation of most of my projects.” Those are the words of 2014 Activator Makhosazana Ntshangase, who has gone from using ACTIVATE’s project-planning tool, the Wash Line, to airing out award-winning clothing at this year’s prestigious Vodacom Durban July event.


Makhosazana, who is a second-year fashion design student at Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design in KZN, entered the Vodacom Durban July Student Competition, which was open to all fashion schools in KZN. About 143 young and talented fashion designers participated in the competition, which Ntshangase describes to have been tough and highly contested. She went, she sewed, and she came out victorious. Yes, Makhosazana came in first place, winning two prestigious awards in the categories for Best Vocadom Durban July Young Designer, an award presented by the Durban Fashion Fair, and also the award for Best Classic Racewear for Females. Talk about really eating the cotton! Sebenza Girl!

Question: What did it feel like to win?


“When I won I was over the moon, I could not talk, I was very teary and emotional because the competition was very tough -going against DUT and School of Mauritzberg, among others, who have won the competition many times in the past. I was overwhelmed because this year I have broken their streak and I have made my school proud. I believe I did not win only as an individual fashion designer, but as a part of a larger collective, as a student representing the Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design.”

Question: Did being part of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network motivate you in any way?


“Being an Activator did motivate me in quite an indirect manner. Going through the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers training opened up my mind in so many ways because I got to learn so many new things that I did not know before, like how to put together a business plan and how to conduct the SWOT analysis, that sort of thing. Those are all things that have contributed to the development of the business woman I am today.

Question: What do you like the most about being an Activator?


“The fact that being an Activator can really open up doors for you if you are an active person. The are many great opportunities that come with being part of the network, but you really need to be active and involved in order to make the most of those opportunities. I still wish to work closely with ACTIVATE! in the future and make more connections within the network.”

Along with the awards, the Port Shepstone born Activator also won a variety of other fantastic prizes, which included: beauty products from Clarins, Samsung Galaxy S9 and A9 smartphones, a two night stay at Beverly Hills hotel, a trip to SA Fashion Week in October, Gateway shopping vouchers, a Mangwanani African Spa Voucher, Forever New clothing vouchers and cash prizes presented by Schweppes and the Durban Fashion Fair.

Wash line your ideas. You never know, you too could very soon be walking tall, wearing a victory suit!

Paul Mabote is a member of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network, a writer, a poet, a creative, a learner and an observer




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