Fashion designer Towani Clarke of Kutowa Designs won the best designer award at the inaugural Zambia fashion and designers awards ceremony held recently at Lusaka’s Golden Bridge Hotel. Clarke won herself a return ticket to Malaysia courtesy of Air Zimbabwe and her colleague Smart Phiri of Smart Designers receiving a return ticket to Johannesburg courtesy of events organisers Afro-Multimedia Productions.
The Zambia Fashion awards attracted a huge crowd and included musical performances by two upcoming artistes after which models and ten contestants of Manhunt Zambia showcased their dance skills. Designers showcased two outfits each in both creative and evening wear using Zambian colours.
Among the other designers vying for honours were Charity Nyirongo, Petros Ginnakakis, Correta Anold, Harriet Biimbe, Nada, Monde Ndana, Raymond Mulenga and Chiza Ngulube. Others were Natasha Sinyangwe, Katongo Chileshe and Suwilanji in the novice category.
Clarke, a single mother of two, expressed happiness on her achievement and adding that she was motivated by the honour. “I think competitions are good especially when there is a meaningful prize because you know they make us strive harder in order to win,” she said. “I have not trained fully in fashion designing but Charity Nyirongo is training me. I attend her classes, she has a degree in fashion design from Japan, she’s good.”
Clarke said the other secret to her success was the versatility of her outfits which embraced local themes like chitenge.
Meanwhile, second prize winner, Smart Phiri who won in the evening wear category said he was glad and expected to get an award. Katongo Chileshe, a fashion and design student at Evelyn Hone College, expressed joy at winning the novice category award and said she did not expect an award this early but knew that she would one day.
Another designer, Petros Giannakakis popularly known for his bold and funky designs added his voice saying the show was fantastic and great for a start.
Meanwhile, the search for Manhunt Zambia on the other hand came to an end when Kuzi Mvula was crowned winner. Kapalu Dilema emerged Mr International Zambia while Sambou Ngambwe won first prince title, and Joshua Kupa as Mr Personality.
Manhunt Zambia chief executive officer Mofya Chisenga said she is happy about the success of the event and appealed to the corporate world to come on board and assist the men financially in order for them to travel and represent Zambia at the world event.