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Celebrating Our African Icons Through Fashion

Thomas Mapfuma singer-Songwriter ( Chimurenga music)

think it's time we start paying tribute to our African icons through fashion. 
Graphic T-shirts were deemed a controversial trend in the early '00s, back when people used to print bold statements on popular looks at social gatherings, group workout classes and music festivals.

Graphics T-shirts are also used as a tool, to celebrate music icons around the world like Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg to name just a few. I do believe it's time for Africans to start celebrating their icons through the now trendy graphic t-shirt street style.

One may ask, why it is important to do so? We always complain about not giving our legends their flowers while they are still alive or not celebrating their work when they are no longer with us. However, with graphic T-shirts, we can put our favorite icons on them to celebrate their music and how they have impacted our lives.

Thomas Mapfumo created and popularized chimurenga music. His slow-moving style and distinctive voice are instantly recognizable to Zimbabweans. He also has a lot of iconic photographs taken during the course of his musical career which would make a beautiful collection of graphic T-shirts for the old and young people of Zimbabwe and those from around the Continent.


The beautiful thing is, we already have young designers  who hae begun celebrating our African icons through graphic t-shirts, the above image is a graphic t-shirt done by Goistemang Mogoi, an Instagram designer. Her clothing brand is called Cotton cult. On the t-shirt above is a picture of Busi Mhlongo who was a virtuoso singer, dancer and composer originally from Inanda in Natal South Africa.

A few weeks ago, a Twitter user posted a picture of a graphic T-shirt with the image of Aaliyah (an American artist) on it. Another Twitter user quoted the tweet saying, "Imagine Lebo Mathosa on it." and it went viral which was a clear indication of how people want fashion brands and designers to start looking into giving us fashion that celebrate our own.

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