Monday, September 17, 2012


Have you ever noticed how South Africa has beautiful clothes for every culture? The colours, the accessories and how the garments are put together for both men and women as well as adults and children.

I fellowship at Grace Bible Church Soweto, under the leadership of the Apostle Mosa Sono. Every year in September we celebrate Heritage month  as part of our South African festivties and causes calendar. And since September is also our church anniversary, being that 2012 is our 29th Anniversary, the church also celebrates Heritage month by having the congregants dress up in different cultural clothes every Sunday.

This year the cultural groups were divided into dual groups as the first Sunday we were celebarating other African cultures that are not really South African but are found in South Africa as our country is a pot of all cultures.

Well, me and my fiance chose to be radical and different by wearing Chinese inspired clothes as you will see in the pictures in the next post. Some people wore Nigerian, Zambian and  one of our Children's Church Ministry teachers, teacher Jacqui (below) came dressed in Indian clothes and teacher Maureen below wore a Nigerian outfit. The two beautiful Children's Church teachers above are wearing African inspired clothes. I think the teacher on the right Mrs. Hlahane (aka Mrs, H), is wearing a Nigerian if not Malawian outfit. The lady in yellow and red, Mama Busi is wearing a ForeverFaith Couture dress and jacket made out one of the African countries fabric.

The second week was Tsonga and Venda tradition. As you can see in the picture of two different generations in which the older woman, one of our Children's Church grade R teacher, Mama Maki is wearing a Venda Tradition which is the colouful striped fabrics that have been decorated with dotted binding in yellow as well as with embroidery. Tell me if this is not the mixing of prints inspiration. These fabrics come in as many different coloured striped fabrics you can think of.

The little girl is dressed in a Tsonga outfit made of a skirt which is called xibelane , and the beautiful floral fabric worn over the skirt called nceka. Apparently it takes 24 days to make the Tsonga skirt according to an Indian man I was buying fabric from. The Tsonga people also known as Shangaans were always known for their bright, in-your-face colours. One of the teachers I serve with who is Tsonga, teacher Maureen says they are trendsetters of Colour-blocking. I think so too and Zulu people are the accessories trendsetters.

Both traditional outfits are completed by colourful accessories.

The third week which was this past Sunday, was the Zulu and Xhosa Culture celebration. The Zulu cultural clothes are the most hand-detailed with beads on them and beaded accessories. Paul (my fiance) and I went shopping for some Zulu outfits and realized how not cheap these outfits and accessories are. The Zulu women wear pleated skirts (priced from R300) with beautiful bright coloured beads on them (these are originally made out of cow hide) but now you can wear fabric ones. They wear a throw over on their shoulders which is also beaded and a head gear called isicholo (priced from R500) which is also beaded. As you can see in the picture on the right, our church's Counselling Department leader, Mama Thandi is wearing the whole women's tradition with the bib made out of beads (priced from R400) on the shoulders, an apron also made out of beads (priced from R400), beaded takkies (priced from R300), bead earrings (priced from R150) and beaded legs accessories (priced from R300 a pair).

As you can see above, two men dressed in Zulu modernized men's suits and a woman in the beatiful Zulu women regalia. I love the detail on the patchwork and how they incorporated animal print in the other gentleman's outfits. Historically or should I say originally Zulu men wear clothes made out of animal skin as in the picture on the right.

The two pictures on the left and right are from

The Xhosa women's cultural clothes are made of a fabric that is almost as hard as denim fabric decorated with black binding at the bottom of the dress/skirt, throw over to cover the shoulders and a head scarf. The fabric used comes in different colours but the most popular colours asre cream white, orange and red.

The other lady is wearing Zulu clothes, as you can see she is not wearing is'cholo like the first two women in the preceding pictures but a crown-like beaded accessory (priced from R80). What I know about the beautiful bigger head gear is worn by married women but most young women just wear it ignorantly. See below pictures for the different Zulu women headgears/accessories. I should have taken pictures of little girls dressed like young Zulu maidens in the class I teach.

        These two pictures are from /zulu_traditional_clothing3.html

I will post more pictures on our beautiful South Africa's traditional oufits with more facts, correct names, prices and where to purchase them in the near future. Next week we are celebrating my cultures which are Tswana (my dad's culture) and Sotho (my mom's which is Southern Sotho). I will be wearing Sotho with my fiance which is his culture as well.

1 comment:

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