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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Cherishing The Past Through Fashion

Young Malawians make fashion statement by infusing old traditions into the present

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Godfrey Maotcha
Godfrey Maotcha
Born and grew up in Blantyre Malawi. Worked for the Guardian ( local newspaper) and Montfort Media for six years. A print and online media house. Currently lives in Lilongwe Malawi

MALAWI. Blantyre: Meet a group of young Malawians who are infusing the old traditions into the present fashion.

If you travel in some of Malawi’s streets you will find young boys and girls clad in vintage outfits.

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Spencer Nundwe is the creative Director of Powermwee which is a brand that promotes fashion trends popular in the 60s to the 1990s especially much of southern Africa and African American communities.

Nundwe and 14 other friends decided to promote vintage fashion in Bangwe, a township on the Eastern part of Blantyre, the country’s second largest city.

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Their aim was to cherish history through fashion. But since then the group has won advertising deals, modelling contracts, being featured in music videos and entertained guests during weddings.

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Since Nundwe and his friends started powermwee, the wearing of vintage clothing has spread across Malawi.

Young girls will be spotted carrying leather handbags and wearing dresses reminding onlookers how the elite of the 70s and 80s looked like.

Photo Credit: Godfrey Maotcha

Future plans

Powermwee, the fashion brand which means ‘smiling strongly’ (in Chichewa, a vernacular language) hopes to also inspire young people across Malawi’s borders.

If given an opportunity Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and many parts of southern Africa can embrace the trend.

Actually, the mode of dressing was imported by Malawians who had worked in the minefields in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia and South Africa).

“Sustainability of any culture has to be embraced by the youth, because they are the future,” says Nundwe.

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