Words: Aluwani Ratshiungo | Photography: Kgomotso Neto | Styling: Sakhile Cebekhulu & Buhle Mbongwa | Make-up: Mamello Mokhele | Art Direction: Sahile Cebekhulu & Lubabalo Mxalisa | Model: Nino Dim
As young African creatives start telling their own stories and looking inward for inspiration, not only do they showcase the beauty and complexities of their experiences and heritage, they also gain a better understanding.
Johannesburg based Sakhile Cebekhulu uses visual art and fashion to unpack his Zulu culture. Sakhile felt like he had been robbed of the traditional Zulu experience because he lived in the city of his whole life.
“Having been born and raised in the city, my encounter with Zulu men has been largely defined by how they live and express their heritage between the streets of Joburg. From Taxi drivers to street vendors and men making their way to and from work I have discovered a contemporary tribe of Zulu men juxtaposing their culture with the city life,” says Sakhile.
The 24-year-old interpreted these experiences and thereof came the birth of the Zulu Lami collection. From the colourways to the contrast stitching and the choice of fabric, everything is carefully considered; even the name of the collection.
“The name of the collection Zulu Lami is a play on words with two equally important meanings. Zulu Lami meaning ‘my world’ and ‘my Zulu’ is therefore the coming together of my world and my definition of Zulu to create a collection that envisions the contemporary Zulu man.”