UK-based designer in charity project
Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean fashion designer Leah Mubwandarikwa has embarked on charity project that is set to benefit local widows. Mubwandarikwa of Leah African Designs is in the country on a two-week break to fulfil her projects and family business.
The bubbly designer who is making strides globally, showcasing in different parts of the world, said she was inspired to start a foundation after noticing the gap in empowering of disadvantaged women including widows as they are sidelined in most projects. In an interview, Mubwandarikwa said the foundation named after her will be launched later this year in Harare.
“I was touched by some disadvantaged women and widows I met of late, who shared their life experience. I must say I have been in such difficult life-changing times in my personal life.
“I decided to form a foundation dubbed Leah African Design which will see such women benefiting as we plan to give out sewing machines, materials, books and cash among others,” she said. She said would start with widows in different communities setting up the stand.
“We’re still in the process of finishing the paperwork. I have already met some widows especially in Mbare and Epworth and we had a chat. We are going to start off with those based in Harare like Mbare, Epworth, Mabvuku, Tafara, Mufakose and Highfield among others. So far we are going to engage friends from abroad and look for corporate sponsorship in the Diaspora so that it will help in the development of the mothers in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Mubwandarikwa, a nurse by profession, said she will also use her expertise to work with these women. Meanwhile, last Saturday she hosted the inaugural “Mother’s full buffet luncheon’ at Rainbow Towers, in a bid to promote networking among women.
Some of the mothers have daughters and sons based in the Diaspora. The mothers who came received a bouquet of flowers each and had lunch together. She said 2018 was ging to be a busy year for her as her calendar is almost full with events.
“Besides the foundation and the launch, I am set to showcase in United States for the Zim Expo and Fashion Week in Nigeria,” she said.