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Me and my Constitution: Laduma Ngxokolo

Considered one of South Africa's brightest up and coming stars of fashion and design, Laduma Ngxokolo says his passion for knitwear and fashion in general started when he was just 15 years old.

In building on this passion and pride in his Xhosa heritage, he studied textile design in high school and later completed a four-year degree in textile design and technology. He established his clothing label, MaXhosa by Laduma, during his final year.

Ngxokolo has made a name for himself in the world of fashion and design, and talks about how South Africa's Constitution makes it possible for those who are willing to invest their time and effort to realise their ambitions.

Ngxokolo sat down with Brand South Africa to give us his take on South Africa's Constitution and how it has inspired him to greatness; this is what he had to say:

Mathiba Molefe (MM): Why did you decide to be a part of the Inspired by my Constitution campaign? What is it about the campaign that resonated with you?

Laduma Ngxokolo (LN): It was a fairly easy decision. Brand South Africa is a brand identity which is very closely in line with and has a synergy with my own, Maxhosa by Laduma. This is mainly because of the cultural relation.

AmaXhosa are the second biggest grouping in South Africa after the Zulu, so it made perfect sense for me to be a part of this cultural celebration. One of the outcomes that I have got from my work is that people have already made my work an ambassador of South Africa.

What I have found with tourists in Cape Town or Johannesburg is that on their essentials list is to visit my stores and buy a piece for themselves or as a souvenir for someone back home.

MM: Using your platform, combined with the one given by this campaign, what do you hope to achieve?

LN: What I hope to achieve is what the likes of uMama Esther Mahlangu and a few other South Africans have done ¿ positioned themselves as ambassadors of South African heritage.

But in my context I hope to achieve a new perspective of what South Africa is and what it should be.

I take culture and translate it in a modern context that is often seen as new to local South Africans, to other African countries and internationally as well.

So part of my efforts are to position myself as a modern Xhosa South African who wants to be known for shaping the identity of South Africa.

I take a lot of pride in this because it's a very important role to play, especially now in this time because we are the new generation that is coming up with a new point of view of how we see the rainbow nation, South Africa, should ultimately be.

MM: What message would you like to send, and who do you hope to benefit the most?

LN: One of the bold messages that I'm trying to bring across is that it is possible for any normal South Af
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