22 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Handicapped Models Take to the Ramp

True to the adage "disability is not inability", 10 physically challenged models took to the ramp over the weekend and practically withdrew the notion that they cannot do anything for themselves.

The exhilarating fashion extravaganza, dubbed "Fashion Chance Exhibition", is the brainwork of 24-year-old Tendai Madzore, a final year student at Chinhoyi University of Science and Technology.

"The clothes are designed to suit the wearer's type of handicap. They comprise of easy fasteners which means that even those without limbs can easily remove them without much help," said Madzore.

Much to the surprise of many who gathered at the event, the 10 models, eight of whom were modelling for the first time in their lives, exuded so much confidence and thrilled the crowd by using their wheel chairs in various ways.

Madzore said the idea was inspired by the realisation that despite the ever-increasing dynamics in fashion no recognition was being given to the physically challenged.

"I do not want it to stop here. My wish is to establish a clothing company that will empower these people in their time of need, give them a form of employment and ensure they make clothes that are ideal to their situations," she said.

The collection comprises of evening, summer and formal wear and different colour combinations to suit the different styles.

Soul Bone vocalist, Bright Kadenga, who was one of the models, expressed joy at the recognition that had come to physically challenged persons through the concept.

"The clothes are ideally made to cater for the different disabilities and that means we need less help to go about day-to-day routines, the unique button set makes all of this possible. Zimbabwe was lacking in similar designs and that meant it was expensive for locals to import anything of this nature, I really feel great," he said.

African attire designer Mrs Loice Chingono hailed Madzore's initiative.

"Certain people have pledged to do things for people out of selfish interests and gone on to do their own things but this initiative is selfless. Tendai has taken something special from our heart with this special line of clothes, we are going to work with her to ensure the growth of this inspired thought, "she said.

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