"Fashion Keeps me Young"- Sophie Ndaba

18 September 2015

WATCHING the top South African soap opera Generations, one may be tempted to dismiss Sophie Ndaba – who used to play Queen Moroka – as a frivolous, gold-digging woman.

But in real life, Sophieplays a different ball game altogether, worlds apart from the character she used to play in the gripping “soapie” that kept millions glued to their television sets every night.

Sophie, who arrived in the country on Wednesday night, to launch the summer fashion season through the annual Edgars Fashion Extravaganza, is in the country until tomorrow.

Despite mothering two children – now aged 25 and 16 – she has retained a youthful look because she has “refused to grow old”.

“Fashion allows me to remain young,” she told a Press conference in Harare yesterday.

“Age doesn’t matter. But what does fashion say about you? It speaks to the way you feel. The way you look tells people how you are feeling. If you’re a woman and you’re not into fashion, I say to you, wake up – it’s the best experience ever.”

She described fashion as more important than people realise because for women, it is a life-changing experience.

She dared women not to wait for a man to tell them that they were sexy but to be proud of their bodies.

“I’m an African God-fearing woman and in everything that I do, I know it’s my right to enhance my beauty. I celebrate my figure,” she said.

“You don’t have to wait for someone to tell you that you’re sexy… You’re a fabulous black woman and you don’t apologise for it.”

She said a fashion style always made a statement.

“In my saddest moments, fashion tells my story,” said the philanthropic businesswoman, who has supported various charities over the past 15 years.Having spent part of her early childhood at a children’s home in Harare, Sophie said she was “a hands-on and action-now” person, who identified with the less privileged.

In the last five years, however, she has been reaching out to the margins of mainline society through her own organisation, Sophie Foundation of Hope, which hosts a group of orphans every year on her birthday, June 29.

In the past three years, the foundation has donated computer labs, wheelchairs, school shoes, uniforms, blankets and food parcels.

“I grew up in a children’s home in Eastlea,” she said. “Now I’ve partnered with many companies and have given out school uniforms, shoes and wheelchairs. We’ve really done a lot to change lives in the past five years.”

She paid tribute to her mother whom she said was always the wind beneath her wings from the moment she became a mother at a tender age of 16.

“I had my daughter, Rudo, as a teenager. My mother helped me raise her. (As women) we have big hearts, we support our families and children. If my mother wasn’t there, I wouldn’t have been where I am today,” she said.

Edgars group marketing executive Rumbie Dzimba said there was need to bring fashion to Zimbabwe “in a better way” and Sophie was the right choice for that.

“She was a judge at the recent Miss South Africa (pageant) and that reinforces her presence in Zimbabwe,” Dzimba said. “It is time we showcased our fashion trends. We go big on colour and style.”

Several companies – including South African Airways (SAA), Holiday Inn and Premier Auto – have thrown their weight behind the Sophie brand.

SAA country manager for Zimbabwe, Winnie Muchanyuka, said they were proud to fly Sophie into the country.

“A big brand like Sophie adds value to our own brands,” she said. “Today is a day of alliances and we look forward to the next three to four days (when Sophie will be in Zimbabwe),” she said.

Sophie’s local fans will have an opportunity to interact with their idol. Yesterday, she spent time at Edgars Joina City and Stanley House branches. Today she will meet with her fans at the Edgars Gweru branch between 10 and 11 o’clock in the morning and then at the 8th Avenue/Jason Moyo branch in Bulawayo at 5 o’clock. There will also be a glitzy cocktail in Bulawayo for VIP customers to enter the weekend in style.

 

Credit- Phillip Chidavaenzi, NewsDay

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