BY Mandy Kanyemba
Zimbabwean Fashion Designer Blessing Munjeri believes that fashion makes the world go round & has scaled heights by focusing on African Men’s wear from the youth to the mature.
The fashion industry is more focused on women designs than men’s designs therefore this motivated Munjeri to get in the industry to specifically make unique outfits for men which will make them look great for a change.
“I would get in a boutique to look for something trending & unique that I would really want but would not find it, then I decided to design something for myself that I would love & feel comfortable with, that’s when the designer in me was born,” said Munjeri.
The 31 year old Designer & Founder of Afro Phoenix brand owns a high end clothing brand which is marketable not only locally, but also in the region & internationally. His designs range from men & boys shirts, shorts, fanny packs , college jackets, blazers & trench coats which caters for age groups 18 & above.
“I mainly use African print material, java to be specific because of its nature which brings out the African sense which then drives me to create a design that best identifies a proud African.”
Apart from being motivated by the female designs dormination,the idea to launch the male trademark was also inspired by the desire to promote African beauty & culture hence chose to work on African wear leaving other fashion categories as a way to bring back the African culture which will make Africans proud.
Speaking on how the Designer comes up with his designs, Munjeri highlighted that the creativity just pops into his mind & the next thing he runs to his tailor to explain what is in his mind.
“A design just pops in my mind & I quickly get hold of my tailor to tell him what I’m thinking. Would you believe that I cannot draw I’m not even good at drawing so when I think of a design, I look for material take it to my tailor the one I have been working with since 2017 & explain to him what I want to be done & he never disappoints.”
Munjeri said he managed to penetrate in the fashion industry with the help of his cousin Tanatswa Kaseke who was a presenter for NYTv & The Celebrity Check as well as being a regular MC at several modelling shows where he introduced Munjeri as an aspiring Designer.
The Afro Phoenix brand Founder says it’s not easy being in the fashion industry but it needs one to be bold & determined.
“One can be critised for their works, some will not even believe in you but if it is something that you love doing you will not quit. One thing for sure is that you have to work hard, sweat, giving it your all , believe in yourself & follow your heart”.
The Designer celebrated some of his achievements in the industry which include being recognized by Nigerian artist Tolu, a trip to Jamaica to dress up Mr & Mrs Tourism models. Locally he has dressed former Mr Zimbabwe People’s Choice (2019-2020), Tatenda Njanike & former Mr Zimbabwe finalist Calvin Nare to mention but a few.
“ I appreciate the love, support & recognition from the models the people the celebrities who have come across my works from all over the world including USA, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, & Zimbabwe. They actually motivate me to continue going an extra mile,” he said.