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Chi Mhende goes where no African female artist has ever

By Faeza
01 December 2016

Exploring her artist abilities and thus presence of gender and sexuality "as it is perceived", this young artist aims to challenge our society to rethink our identity, choices and measures of self worth.

Chi is currently known for her portrayal of Wandile Rabede on Generations:The Legacy. A role that came with much debate and controversy,  questioning the producers' casting of a female in a male role. In Nov 2016 it was revealed that the character was in fact transgender, meaning that HE was in fact born a SHE.

A bold undertaking in a line of powerful and somewhat unconventional roles and performances by Mhende, this is "by far the most awakening character and priveldge for any performer to carry" says Chi.

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"This role has made her realise more than ever  responsibility as artists. Which is to make the ultimate sacrifice of displaying societal disturbia for the sake of progression. As is the purpose of art.

On her performance at this year's Soweto Spring/Summer fashion week, a venture that was initally aimed at supporting fellow Zimbabwean desinger friend Ngugi Vere of Shona Accra Designers, Chi decided to take it a step further for the sake of an emerging consciousness.

"She chose the SFW as it is a space that supports emerging talent." As an artist new to the city of Gold, Mhende notes quite prouldy the importance of earning your place and at that table GOLD. As an emerging artist herself she was proud to furhter her skills by performing on a differrnt platform whilst sharing what she describes to have been "a tribute to beings of alternative thinking , sexuality and identity."

Modelling for Shona Accra as a man ... and later as herself in a regal piece by Uju designs, Mhende declared the beginning of a mark that the history books will forever be grateful for - that equality is so much closer than our minds and bodies care to realise. "If only we'd silence the body and souls do their righteous biding."

An advocate of all human rights Chi belives the fight goes beyond race and gender eqauality and believes its a universal responsibility to absorb the journey of the other,educating ourselves beyond ourselves to avoid blindly subscrubing to one rule or school of thought.