100 World Class South Africans: Nkhensani Nkosi

2013-06-01 12:00

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Designer African

If global fashion has an obsession with Africa, then Nkhensani Nkosi has had a hand in it.

Her 12-year-old brand, Stoned Cherrie, has been at the centre of the African style revolution.

It began in 1999 when Nkosi, then host of MNet’s Face of Africa, travelled the continent.

She wanted to tap its urban energy and create something that ‘celebrated being African in the 21st century’.

Soon her funky designs were in stores everywhere; she sold eyewear in 450 outlets in Africa and Canada, and later fabrics and homeware.

Armloads of fashion and business awards followed, plus a spot on the US-based Endeavor Entrepreneur programme in 2005.

Nkosi was also goodwill ambassador for the UN World Food Programme’s ‘Catwalk the World’ initiative in Ghana.

When Stoned Cherrie showed its bold African aesthetic at New York Fashion Week in 2009, ‘it was amazing to see the appetite for it’.

The world also gobbled up the wardrobe she designed for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.

A celebrated speaker at events, she’s shared a stage with Yahoo founder Jerry Yang in New York.

Nkosi has grand plans to go global.

Currently in negotiations, she’s ‘always been driven by a bigger vision … anything is possible. We have such low self-esteem as South Africans. We should celebrate who we are and carve out our space in the world.’

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