Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe – 1998 Ndau was started by Gail van “Mai Van” Jaarsveldt & Gill Atherstone. As of 2003 after Gail van Jaarsveldt’s eldest daughter Christie Halsted became co-owner of the company. Joe “Mhofu” Mutoko a 3rd generation mhizha from Chivhu started in 1992 with Mai Van and has been designing ever since. As if it was part of the plan, one Christie was not enough. The newest edition to the design team is a design school trained Christie Brookstein. I call these the Fantastic Four of Ndau, a collective of designers from different parts of Africa with a mission and destiny for restoring our almost forgotten African Heritage.
Joe “Mhofu” Mutoko predicted this year was going to be a great year for the Ndau Team. I think he was absolutely right after Zimbabwe Fashion Week exposing their talent to Cape Town Fashion Council and AFI, these hillbilly from Victoria Falls are showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Africa 2012, October 24 – 28. With International stars from all over the world gaining interest, and they let me in on some opportunity for next year that is going to be HUGE.
I also met with the team of Ruoko Project Moses Kalembela with the MY DUTY IS TO TAP THAT BOOTY T-shirt. Munya Manyuke, Toby Musariri, Ngoni Chivasa, Alex Mleya of the Ndau Jewellery. The leather man Lenny and wax moulder who sub contracts Funwell.
What started off as a hobby and a way to relieve stress has become a way to make a living, a global success and give a livelihood to artists in Zimbabwe and raise awareness against Poaching. Doing all this and still manage to stay true to the core of celebrating our Zimbabwean heritage and how fashionable Africa was and always will be fashion forward. To the Ndau Team on their journey to more awesomeness, MWARI NGAAVENEMI “MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU”.
If you want to know more about Ndau you can tweet them *Christi B will tweet you back* @ndau_jewelry