Creative beauty pageant winner embarks on niche fashion career

African beauty queen and fashion designer


Katlego Kalamane

HAVING an imaginative and creative mind saw recently crowned Provincial Mpumalanga beauty queen, Sfeziwe Mkhabela, pursuing a career in the fashion industry.

According to the gorgeous Mkhabela, while growing up she had always aspired to be an economist and looking back she realised that it was only because of the love of an idea of looking professional in a suit and carrying a laptop bag and working in an office environment.

“I would however always find myself creating and recreating images of people’s outfits in my head, because I’ve always had an eye in matching colours, people were always fascinated about my dressing senses especially in school during civics day.

“In 2016, I relocated to Johannesburg to further my studies at TVET College in clothing production because I saw a need and the passion I carried after four years of being an assistant teacher,” she told NewsHorn during an interview.

The Mahushu-born beauty said that those who know her call her “The Nubain Queen,” her stage name when presenting or even when reciting poetry. “Nubain Queens are my inspiration, from their independence outside a King and leading her own army, how they carry themselves, the Africaness in them, how they walk bare footed, thus when I do poetry I go it bare footed,” she said.

“To me it’s speaking to nature and a way of getting back to self or the spirit of Ubuntu. Their jewelry is gold that can only mean one thing “QUEENSHIP,” so this is an inspiration from the Egyptians and also inclusive of the one inspired by the Indian look.  And this is where I draw my inspiration from, making clothes for Queens and my clothes target the confident, sophisticated, classy, sassy and embody verve and fun,” Mkhabela explained.

“I haven’t showcased my clothes. In Nelspruit I’ve been approached several times to do it but for some reason my spirit has never allowed me so I would really ask to be excused without seemingly being rude. There is a certain target market for me and until then I will not showcase, there is a niche that I’m looking for. My mentor once said “disappear before you appear.”

“However, people can look out for my comeback. I’m truly hoping COVID will be kind on us at least this year. I am definitely looking forward to launching my brand as well as a range and I have partnered with a boutique. I am also looking forward to that,” she said.

Upon being asked about her favourite designers Mkhabela said: “I am a big believer/fan of energies so with this one it really depends on the energies, but I am inspired by Gabrielle Bonheur’s story, the founder of “Coco” Chanel and of course her work and how she left a legacy. Also Anna Wintour who has served as editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine and the likes of the Maxhosa label that is exactly what I’m talking about finding a niche market.”

“People who may want to support me please find me on social media:

Instagram: Sfe_mk and FB: Sfeziwe Mkhabela/Owasfe Mkhabela or email me @,” Mkhabela concluded.






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