“I have realised that it is very important to make sure that my culture comes first and the whole world must know about Tshivenda and Kokovha.”
These were the words said of award-winning musician Makhadzi at the exclusive launch of her collaboration with Kicks Sportswear at the Mall of Africa last week.
Makhadzi, real name Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhona, last month signed a R120-million deal with Kicks Sportswear involving merchandise called Kokovha, inspired by her 2020 title album Kokovha.
The Tshanda Vhuya and Matorokisi hitmaker said the multi-million rand deal was important to her as a young black artist in showcasing African talent to the world and to celebrate different African cultures.
“It means a lot of things to me. It means that my life is very important and so is our culture as black people in business.
“So I was interested in the Kokovha edition because they want to represent my culture and my language and I have realised that it is very important to make sure that my culture comes first and the whole world must know about Tshivenda and Kokovha,” she said.
Makhadzi said she was optimistic about her future in business.
“Actually, we are going far because we are ... planning to release our new Kokovha merchandise. So next year we will be launching another Kokovha merchandise,’ said the 25-year-old Limpopo-born star.
Makhadzi had a few words of advice for upcoming artists who are interested in such partnerships.
“All I can say is, as long as you believe in yourself and that you are good, and you believe that what you can touch can turn into gold, you must go for it.”
Sammy Mhaule, founder and chief executive of Kicks, said: “The first thing for us was to start our brand from Africa to the world. We wanted to be identified and be relevant to people from Africa to the world. At the same time, reflect all that is embraced by Africans and take it to the world.
“Why we decided to partner with Makhadzi ... is for one simple reason – Makhadzi loves people. And when her fans were asking what are you doing next, we had to heed the call,” said the Thembisa-born entrepreneur.
“Our partnership more than anything is literally creating a sports brand that we Africans can be proud of, relate to … This will probably be one of the first brands that is taking everything that is African and taking it to the world.”
Mhaule said Kicks designs and produces proudly African, feel-good sportswear that offers a unique and competitive alternative to global sportswear brands.