MwanaWevhu means son of the soil in Shona. It is also the name of Avril Mafemba-Musemwa‘s fabric shop that sells African print fabric, bonnets, scrunchies, face makes and custom made clothing.
The Daily Vox spoke to Mafemba-Musemwa who is the founder and owner of MwanaWevhu.
Mafemba-Musemwa was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to South Africa to pursue her studies at Wits University. Mafemba-Musemwa is based in Johannesburg. This is her story of how she became an entrepreneur.
Adjusting to the new varsity culture was hard for me, I had to reinvent myself to fit in, to look and feel cool. It was very exhausting. This was until I saw this lady wearing her doek so effortlessly and elegantly. I then knew that’s how comfortable I wanted to be in my skin and in my culture.
First I got doeks from my mum. I also bought some scarves from town until I could find African prints in town and cut them into doeks. There was a lot of feedback, so I decided to start a business and that’s how my business came to be.
I started taking it seriously in 2018 but it was on and off. There have been ups and downs and changes along the way. But my goal has been sharing a piece of Africa and being comfortable in who I am.
My prints are from Zambia, Nigeria and sometimes Ghana. I also get prints from Chitenge, Ankara Kente and Woodin respectively. Celebrating Africa and its diversity is also reflected in different prints. I would love to explore and to get exposure on more prints and share with my community.
I’m currently working on an e-commerce option for my customers. However, there are targets and goals to be met before we can resource that upgrade.
The interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Featured image provided