With The Mbira And Ndebele Tribe, Here’s How The Zimbabwean Culture Is Infused Into Their Fashion

Another edition of the Zimbabwe Cultural Week is here again. The cultural week is one that is dedicated to promoting the culture and identity of Zimbabwe, as well as encouraging inclusive, equitable, and vibrant participation by communities in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors.

Many international organizations including UNESCO and Google are celebrating this week with the people of Zimbabwe, although this year’s edition would be virtual. The Mbira which is the traditional musical instrument for Zimbabweans is featured as the Google Doodle for today in celebration of the cultural week.

How is the fashion in Zimbabwe affected by their culture? How does their fashion reflect the rich heritage and in their culture?

Zimbabwe Culture And Fashion

Fashion in Zimbabwe is expected to contribute highly to the economy, but due to lack of funding, and support from the government and private establishments, the industry isn’t thriving as it should.

“In Zimbabwe, we need relevant workshops that support the cause and the establishment of a fashion council that regulates the local products to match international standards.” – Tapfumanei Munenge, the creative director and owner of Zimbabwean-based fashion brand, Tapfumanei Munenge Couture.

The outfits the people of Zimbabwe wear are diverse as a result of the bountiful indigenous groups present in the country. However, the Ndebele tribe, which is known for its colorful textiles and hand-painted materials has a huge influence on Zimbabwean fashion. This is why many of their outfits tend to be very colorful, displaying a wide range of colors.

The Zuvva fashion brand, for example, which is a Zimbabwean brand involved in the design and manufacture of corporate wears for Zimbabwean companies, gets its inspiration from the diverse cultures in Zimbabwe. In addition to this, the Savanna landscape, vegetation, and climate are also a huge source of inspiration for the fashion brand.

“Our fashion industry is at a very exciting place at the moment because there are so many creatives in the fashion industry doing their thing.” – Tatenda Zanorashe

The Matebele tribe in Zimbabwe is one that is known for its painting prowess, which is seen on the different artworks and patterns displayed. Their beadwork, which is primarily white beads with translucent colored beads that form a pattern, is also very famous due to their intricate details. 

During important ceremonies and events, especially traditional, both men and women in Zimbabwe wear beaded ceremonial outfits. This has influenced the modern Zimbabwean fashion, as most of their outfits are now adorned with beads and embellishments.

The Culture in Zimbabwe has had a huge role to play in their fashion today, as fashion brands get inspiration for outfits from their backgrounds.


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