Lawrence Chitumba and Talent Chimutambgi
A leading fashion designer based in South Africa recently launched “The Elephant Dress” aimed at raising awareness on wild life heritage.
Thembani Mubochwa, who is also the founder of TZM Fashion House, said the dress was designed in support of wildlife conservation in Zimbabwe.
The dress was launched in the capital at Meikles hotel and was graced by the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who said Mubochwa’s work symbolises the intrinsic value of our wildlife.
The design of the dress shows an elephant, water and other facets of the environment expressing the need for holistic ecosystem approach to natural resources management.
The “Elephant Dress” conveys a message about natural resources conservation and further raise awareness on the plight of our wildlife.
Mubochwa said it is important to use various means to raise awareness about wildlife conservation.
“I am glad this idea has been embraced by the responsible ministry. I thank Minister Muchinguri for her support and I promise to work with many other artists to come up with projects that encourage people to take care of natural resources. We also want to send a strong message against poaching through this project,” said Mubochwa.
The launch comes at time our wildlife is under threat from poachers who are sponsored by criminal syndicates operating within and outside the borders of Zimbabwe.
The poachers have devised a new silent method of poaching that involves the use of chemical poisons such as cyanide.
This new method of poaching has resulted in the loss of 235 elephants between 2013 and 2015.
Despite the efforts put on law enforcement and achievements made in terms of arrests, recoveries and seizures, the threat of wild life poaching and illegal trade in its products have remained high.
Locally Mubochwa has been tasked to design outfits for some of the presenters and nominees at the Zimbabwe Music Awards through his TZM fashion house.
Last year he scooped the classic race wear (male) award at the prestigious Vodacom July in South Africa before coming home to take the best designer accolade at Zimbabwe Models Awards.
He has designed outfits for South Africa top celebrities for renowned international events. On the red carpet of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, outstanding achievers have strolled donning his designs.
He has done outfits for popular South African actors, the late musician Vuyo Mokoena and jazz musician Lira.
Despite these achievements, Mubochwa does not forget his roots and has done a number of charity projects to help the disadvantaged back home.
Early this year he donated uniforms to disadvantaged children at Chikato primary school in Masvingo.
Socialite Faith “Chihera” Taruvinga who has done a number of projects with Mubochwa saluted the designer for his outstanding work.
“He has made us proud with his work in South Africa. He has worked with regional celebrities and done charity projects. His latest idea to raise awareness about wildlife conservation is excellent and I urge other artists to follow suits,” said Taruvinga.