Celebrating the essence of being an African, Nhlanhla Nciza is a lady of many sides, being half of South African award-successful Afro-pop duo Mafikizolo, a mom and spouse who nonetheless finds time to stay her second ardour for fashion.
The start of NN Classic in 2007, an upmarket African couture designer label by Nciza, introduced new heights for the then naïve and sceptical designer.
Coping with the unpredictable nature of being an entertainer, Nciza describes her days as manic and unscheduled as they might differ from being in studio recording, consulting with potential shoppers who demand her presence upon appointment and even outsourcing materials.
“The factor about being in the leisure business is that you simply don’t have a routine as a result of days are by no means the identical.
“However each day I come to the workplace to satisfy shoppers,” she says.
Her fingers-on strategy to the enterprise is evident as Nciza finds inspiration when out and about in material shops, the place “the potentialities are limitless”.
Nevertheless, having a devoted staff permits the potential fashion mogul to maintain a gentle upward tempo.
“With regards to NN Classic, having struggled a lot in the first few years, I bought to study loads about the fashion business.
“Typically there are belongings you get to study with out realising that you're studying them,” says Nciza about the early levels of her fashion profession.
Like most passionate entrepreneurs, Nciza selected to go all in when beginning NN Classic, even investing her life financial savings from her solo enterprise and prior success with Mafikizolo.
She quickly hit robust occasions as she needed to search out recommendation from different designers and enterprise house owners who guided her by way of the challenges.
Her motivation for beginning the fashion model got here from the early days as an “up-and-coming” music group.
“Picture was every little thing to us. We learnt from the likes of BoomShaka, Boyz 2 Males and Bongo Muffin.
“We used to have a look at how they'd at all times have a typical theme that was interpreted otherwise and that’s had been my love for fashion developed,” admits Nciza.
She went on to reward her mom who, given the state of affairs she was confronted with, nonetheless made it some extent to look the half each time her and Nciza’s father would exit.
It wasn’t till she relaunched and showcased at Africa Fashion Worldwide in 2015 that she began to see the mild at the finish of the tunnel.
She obtained a bitter-candy reception from the media as she was criticised for her incapacity to design and make garments particularly for African ladies.
This contributed to the model receiving flak from customers. It was a problem Nciza was decided to face head on and show them fallacious with the assist from the proficient younger designers she recruited to hitch forces together with her.
“I've come a great distance and was criticised by individuals in fashion and music.
“Some stated I didn’t know what I used to be doing.
“Nevertheless, I applaud myself for standing robust and following my coronary heart.
“With that got here the knowledge of unearthing constructive from the unfavorable criticism,” she says.
Nciza and NN Classic might be celebrating their 10th anniversary this 12 months and though the journey has not been simple, it has been one this entrepreneur has walked proudly and has emerged together with her popularity intact.
Additionally, she has by no means taken the sacrifices without any consideration which she has needed to make to permit her to spend time with household and associates when not on tour.
Nciza is grateful for these moments shared together with her children and husband and thanks them for his or her persistence and willingness to share her with the individuals of the African continent.
“I work with tons of individuals who perceive the imaginative and prescient of NN Classic and that provides me peace in trusting them to get the job performed,” she says.
“The most important problem in my life is discovering time to do every little thing and make everybody completely satisfied.
“However talking as a lady who was raised by a working-class mom, I too know that it is potential to nonetheless be a compassionate mother to my children, loving spouse to my husband and profitable enterprise girl.