By Paloma Giustizieri
Nibbling on my fingernails, the ambiance of the Indalo Media office had me on edge of the waiting room seat. Sithasolwazi Kentane filled the room with oxygen, forcing those in her space to take a deep breath. Her confidence, shaved head and thin gold nose-ring conveyed a sophisticated yet youthful quality to her aesthetic. Sitha describes her style as “African meets Minimalism”.
She is a fellow Rhodent and a woman who is chasing a dream that many, too, are reaching toward. In 2016 she began working for ELLE Magazine, based in Johannesburg; now she embarks on her journey to create content that speaks for the African narrative. Her brand, SEVEN, is one step of many in this journey - a luxury fashion brand with an African influence.
Sitha explained, “I’ve been in love with Fashion since I was 13, after watching the first season of Project Runway. I instantly knew that it was where I was meant to be.” Although some of us may not be as cemented in our visions of our futures, seeing an empowered woman following her dream has inspired others to pursue their own aspirations.
In Sitha’s final year at UCKAR she co-founded Atmosphere Market, which was a market held on the last Sunday of every year. “It became Grahamstown’s social hangout and people put effort into the way they dressed. I looked forward to what people would wear every market,” Sitha proclaimed. From being an Honours graduate of a Bachelors degree in Journalism she went into the workplace. A pivotal point in her career, she was assigned to style a shoot for ELLE. The concept was hers, as she was responsible for the production; from concept to execution. When it was over, Sitha said that she had a great sense of gratitude and respect for those who had done that same job before her. Once she had an opportunity to create the kinds of content she had always dreamed of making she explained, “I get overwhelmed and have to remind myself to firstly breathe, then take it one step at a time.”
Sitha’s luxury designer apparel – SEVEN – reflects her natural style. It has elements of the earth including luscious greens, pastel pinks, geometric patterns and a playful essence of texture, complemented by poignant African aesthetic. She shared her views of how the public and broader society are waking up to the importance of integrity, authenticity and transparency – qualities she weaves into her brand. She believes that the world of fashion is transforming into a space where artistic creators have to have an authentic story, or else they ” lose their audience instantly”.
Sitha’s Student Suggestions:
“Your happiness matters.”
“All the things you’re passionate about, you can do them all well.”
“Listen to your inner voice always, the answers are always within you.”
“Lastly, understand that success takes time, respect this [time] over everything, it’s the only thing you cannot buy.”