Talking to the vibrant and charismatic Fezile Mdletshe, a Fashion and Textiles lecturer at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), who is passionate about fashion and community upliftment.
The 34-year-old from Eshowe, studied Fashion and Textile at DUT, holds a Masters in Applied Arts in Fashion and is currently studying towards her PhD.
Mdletshe spoke about her journey into becoming a fashion designer and DUT lecturer, which was not her dream initially. “It fell into my path by chance and I thoroughly enjoy it. I can even say I have found my purpose in life. I am passionate about all things fashion education. My dream was always to be rich,” she chuckled.
Her elegant style and glamour topped with her great enthusiasm to teach fashion is what drives her to be the best that she can be. “The students are young, vibrant and ready to learn. When in class I take on a role of a mentor which I believe is a method of playing a role in their future,” she said excitedly.
Mdletshe has also been a mentor on BET Africa’s reality show Made in Africa, where she mentored developing designers through the KwaZulu – Natal Fashion Council and trained designers who are now established designers.
Apart from lecturing, Mdletshe also believes in giving back to the community and makes every concerted effort to ensure her new found ‘fashion’ passion also helps others. She does this through her Fashion Academy which she had established in her community. Her academy is a socially responsible initiative which seeks to help women and youth with quality education.
“It is the first township based fashion school which offers fully subsidised education. It has accredited courses from level 1 to level 2,” she said.
Her plans are to go into full-time with the academy by the end of the year. “The world needs community heroes and I would like to be one of them,” she said happily.
Pictured: Fezile Mdletshe.