Introducing Malawi Malota

Awakening the Heart of African Design, Dreams and Malawian Led Economic Development

by Patti DeSante

“What we love becomes our language. The things we love hold our experience of grace. They give voice to our heart and spirit. They provide tangible shapes for those things that, deep inside, are formless.” -Wayne Muller

You will have the privilege of meeting the following Malawian fashion designers/activists on November 24

Each fashionista skillfully coutures African Fabric, to both meet an international market demand for eco-friendly dynamic contemporary design while highlighting, honouring and expanding the continents indigenous led economic development movement.

Bruce Matewere

Patti DeSante, founder of Tenzo Collaborations specifically chose these designers because they are both emerging leaders in their chosen field and also community builders who are committed to Malawi’s future health and happiness. They know how to open beyond their knowing, turn towards and respond to life’s circumstances which can be very harsh at times in Malawi and respond with wisdom, compassion and luminosity.

Patti’s lively conversations offered intimate insights into the mindsets of a generation that is born of and breathe a black consciousness that Stephen Biko, one of South Africa’s apartheid activists, dreamed of; citizens who know their worth and their power separate from the neo-colonial indoctrination. “I am humbled to be in their presence.” Their designs speak to their love of fashion and unity rooted in the wisdom of their beloved nation and continent.

Three of the designers; Mphatso, Bruce and Faida formally receive training and mentoring from internationally known designer Lily Alfonso Lily goes so far beyond just her love of fashion. She speaks passionately about the future of fashion design as a leadership tool for self, others and healthy community. She is a positive driver of enormous power and passion in a nation that has received far too much negative press with albino killings, childhood marriage, cash gate and now blood sucking vampire murders. For people only seeing this news, Africa becomes a continent defined by ignorance, superstition and poverty.

Viviette Designs – Nomonde Sambakunzi: Nomonde Creations

These designers tell a very different story of Malawi. They are determined to show the rest of the world who and what Malawi is defined as, “The Warm Heart of Africa.”

Lily Alfonso in front with Patti, Faida (chosen designer) and Mike behind.

Malawi is currently one of the poorest countries in the world. These designers stand for all the positive aspects of this Nation. They are disciplined in their craft. They are generous, lighthearted, humble and joyful.

Over the last three years Patti has spent 18 months living and learning in this incredible country. She will be showcasing these 5 Malawian designers from southeast Africa on November 24th at Eco-Fashion Week Australia in Perth. The runway show will be accompanied by music highlighting Malawian hip hop and reggae artists who Patti also works with to resource and connect powerful African women with the purpose of defining their own women’s movement, apart from “Musungu,” white people’s ideology.

Patti’s upcoming EFWA blog will also offer for further insights into each designer’s unique relationship to fashion influences their connections to feminism. to politics, to family, to economics and ultimately to love.