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Tutu Fellow commemorates two African Icons through fashion


2014 Tutu Fellow and Founder of the KISUA fashion brand, Samuel Mensah, this year embarked in two major collaborations to celebrate and honour the centenary legacies of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu.

Kisua, together with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, launched the 466/64 clothing line, which derives its name from Madiba’s prison number to commemorate what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday. Sam’s collaborative project began four years ago when he met Sello Hatang, the current CEO of the foundation, when they were both part of the Class of 2014 Tutu Fellowship Programme in 2014.

This connection and shared vision resulted in the perfectly timed 466/64 collection, in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s legacy.  As someone with a deep knowledge of fashion, Mensah felt that fashion can be an ideal platform for the younger generation to memorialize Mandela’s story and values. This gave way to another opportunity for him to work his next project with the Sisulu family.

The Kisua/ Sisulu clothing collection celebrates Albertina Sisulu’s centenary and her contributions to South Africa while raising funds for a cause she was passionate about. The collection features a range of T-shirts with her image and the words ‘Victory is Ours’, which Sisulu displayed on a poster during a protest.

Mensah highlighted the impact fashion can have in storytelling,“Through fashion one is able to say who they are and what they stand for without having to speak and this collection aims to do just that, to carry a profound message that Mama Sisulu expressed on placards as she marched against the apartheid regime in order for us to enjoy the victory we do today.”

The proceeds from the 466/64 range will be used to support the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. All the funds raised from the sale of the Sisulu T-shirts will be going toward the nurse’s fund to advance skills development in that sector.

Cover picture caption: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his cabinet wearing T-Shirts from the collection designed by Tutu Fellow, Samuel Mensah

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Thursday, 28 May 2020

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