HomeStandard PeopleEight-year-old Tanatswa storms fashion scene

Eight-year-old Tanatswa storms fashion scene

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

self-taught eight-year-old Tanatswa April Marembo has defied age after she launched Kubvumbi Stitches and Scissors, a design and clothing line.
Kubvumbi is the Shona name for the month of April.

The designer label, which was launched online yesterday, produces tie-dye as well as bleached clothing (T-shirts, sweaters, denim, face asks and socks), dolls clothes, and loom bands.

Kubvumbi Stitches and Scissors is a fashion and design company founded by Tanatswa, a Grade 4 pupil at Midlands Christian School in Gweru.

Tanatswa, who is also the only child of Tanaka and Priviledge Marembo, had a passion for cutting, fashion and designing as well as philanthropy from a very young age.

“I design off-head, using old T-shirts and old clothes whenever I get an idea. In my spare time I make clothes from paper. My dream is to become a great creative fashion designer who represents Zimbabwe internationally,” Tanatswa said.

The brand is illustrated through a colourful icon that resembles stitches, markings and scissors cuts. The colourfulness is indicative of the vibrancy and youthfulness of the brand. The logo is complemented with elegant text in one uniform colour and is a progressive symbolism that is meant to capture the maturity of the founder as she grows.

The products are of good quality, durable and trendy, targeted for all hip people who have a youthful spirit. Kubvumbi’s brand essence stems from Tanatswa’s beliefs, which is that life should be enjoyed and never be a competition.

“The purpose of Kubvumbi as a brand is to encourage people to let go of ‘the pressure to become’, re-instil hope and urge everyone to enjoy even the smallest things, especially during this year which has been stressful the world over due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Chenesai Majaya, the brand and communication strategist who worked on the project.

Kubvumbi brand values are premised on originality, transparency, youthfulness, passion, raw creativity, positivity and energy.

Tanatswa has received great support from her parents, family, friends, all the teachers who have taught her and her best friend Graham Mataka.

“Tanatswa has been consistent in what she wants to become ever since she was in pre-school — a fashion designer. Not only that, she has also received awards for her fashion and design craft at school. We feel that we would not have done her justice if we don’t support her dream to the fullest potential,” her mother Tanaka Marembo said.

Like all parents, Tanatswa’s parents were initially worried of the effect publicity could have on their child, but their fears that she could neglect school were allayed.

“We believe that the world has changed and this is part of her education. We also believe that the work ethic and discipline fostered through her business through hard work will spill over into her school work. If most of us grown-ups now had received such support from their parents we would have gone far,” Marembo said.

“We support our child by listening and believing in what she is passionate about and putting resources where required, for instance in this case, registering a company [she will assume full ownership when she is 18], buying the materials that she uses and every other cost that was associated with this launch.”

Tanatswa’s story lives as a testament that everyone who had a dream as a young child that never saw the light of day is going to be reminded that it’s possible, even with their own kids.

She has received a number of accolades, including Kind and Generous while in Grade 1, HardWorking and Top 3 for Kid-prenuership Project (she made money from making and selling necklaces, bracelets, rings and loombands) (Grade 2), and Merit for Clothes Project (Grade 3).

“Tanatswa is a warm, considerate young girl and I am glad she has discovered a talent that best describes her character fully. She expresses herself through her art and it speaks volume. Her continued hard-work and creativity in it will take her to amazing places. I wish her the very best,” said Tanatswa’s teacher Kwandokuhle Musa Khumalo.

Guided by Tanatswa’s conviction to philanthropic work, Kubvumbi envisages to pay school fees for underprivileged children from the proceeds of the profits, starting with at least three children and hopefully increasing the number as the brand continues to grow. Kubvumbi is also an eco-friendly brand, they use recyclable/biodegradable carrier bags.

Kubvumbi products are available at Rosepetals shop in Gweru, and they also deliver nationwide.

The clothing line is accessible online, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tik-Tok: @kubvumbi.

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