- The journey of a 19-year-old lady who’s at the pinnacle of fashion designing in Mzuzu
By Gibson C KAMANGA.
At 19, most Malawian girls are still Mama’s girls; they are literary too sophomoric to start thinking big. Save for craving for up-to-date smartphones, and what-have-yous, at the end of the day, they are just kids; still in transit to adulthood. Such kind of toddlers are yet to have that third eye for defining or shaping their future. To most of them, landing a ‘good’ job in the near future is their everyday fantasy. If at all the dream is there.
To 19-year-old Mzuzu-based Chisomo Chavula, however, such an illusion is preposterous. To her, the future is today. A teen as she is, she’s already a gem that’s making her presence felt in the fashion world in Mzuzu.
The expedition to her dreamland had not been that daunting; It was simply satiating her desire to follow her childhood passion.
“I started this when I was about nine years old…back then, I was an avid fan of Tyra (Banks). So whenever I saw her on TV, I used to tell mum to get me a similar dress. However, she (my mum) wouldn’t. So I could get my own clothes and ‘design’ them like what I‘d watched on the TV,” she reminisces.
Such babyish ‘obstinacy’ was later going to land this youthful lady into a gold mine.
As years passed, such a scheme wore thinner. Her reveries slowly started being transformed. Typical of most teenyboppers of her age, she felt modeling was her new calling.
However, 2013 changed everything.
“I got an award at Mzuzu Inter-schools Art Exhibition Awards for something that I had designed. That was the fuel that propelled me to panel-beat my childhood passion and talent,” she recalls.
That was the renaissance of the contemporary Chisomo, the owner of Chicha Fashions, one of the emerging clothing lines in the city.
The rest is history, so they say. Currently, Chichi Fashions and decorations is one of the emerging talents in the green city. Taking a glimpse at some of her creations, you would be stunned it is the handiworks of a 19-year-old. And above all, her fashion line is becoming an everyday decor is various events in the city.
Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back (Unknown)
Having grown up with her aunt, Chisomo owes all her success on to the ‘Big’ lady.
“I owe everything to my aunt. Her love and support is immeasurable. She was the one who vehemently supported my idea (morally and financially) of venturing into decoration. It was her trust that has pushed me this far. And currently, we work as a team,” she testifies.
Currently, CHICHA-fashion is growing by each passing day. And to her, there’s no excuse for any Malawian youth to wait for somebody to do turn the tables. To her, it is a lame defense for a Malawian youth to cry foul over limited job opportunities.
“I think self-awareness is very crucial for every person, regardless of age. This is one of the biggest secrets for success in any entrepreneurship endeavor. If you’re able to know your capabilities, and your limits, there’s nothing that can stop you from reaching you maximum potential.“ She advised.
And from her observation, oftentimes, parents and guardians also do play a bigger part in shaping their wards’ path.
“It’s high time parents, and guardians knew their wards inside out. At times, parents do force their dependents to pursue a path the latter are not good at. When this backfires, the consequences could be so unbearable to the child,” she observes.
Chisomo believes if Malawian youths utilize their companies (friends they hang out with) well, they (the youths) could be reaping sweet fruits later in their lives.
“I think the youth should make good use of the times they spend together. They could be sharing gigantic ideas and horn their skills that can shape their futures,” recommends she.
Basing on her observation, strides are being made in the country, fashion-wise, even though the destination is far from being reached.
“Compared to the past, we’re making progress in this industry. Fashion-designing and interior decoration are not what they used to be back then. Of course there’s much more ground-works to be done for us to be up there,” she says.
Observes she, “Having our own clothing factories that are up to standard, producing export-quality clothing, and having more fashion events, and fashion magazines are some of the areas stakeholders in the country need to work on.”
As days go by, Chisomo Chavula is developing, both physically and economically. Whilst other youths of her age are waiting for ‘the right time’ to venture into something more productive, Chisomo is already on the road, for she believes that tomorrow is today.
A BRIEF BIO
- Full Name: Chisomo Chavula
- Birth Year: December 1997
- Fashion Line: Chicha Fashions
- Brief description; Chicha Fashions deals with fashion designing plus both interior and exterior decorations
- Location of Business: Luwinga, Mzuzu
Below are some of Chicha fashion designs